Jack Entertainment names new senior vice president for Detroit casino

Jack Entertainment LLC is making leadership changes as its Greektown Casino-Hotel property undergoes a rebranding and renovation.

Chad Barnhill, former senior vice president and general manager of Jack Cincinnati Casino, is taking on a new role that — pending regulatory approval — will include overseeing the Greektown Casino-Hotel, Jack communications manager Samantha Chyette said. But he won't replace Jason Gregorec, who will continue as general manager of the Greektown property.

The Detroit property's name will change to Jack Detroit Casino-Hotel on May 1. Before then, it is undergoing millions of dollars in renovation work and sign changes.

Detroit-based Jack Entertainment, formerly Rock Gaming LLC, purchased Greektown in 2013. The company is part of Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures LLC.

More information can be found here.

Fantasy sports soon could have a new reality in Ohio

By early 2018, the fantasy sports industry could be legal in Ohio, and thus be exempt from state gambling laws.

It's a development that would be welcomed by two of the titans of daily fantasy sports — DraftKings and FanDuel. And for Northeast Ohio resident Kevin Day, whose Fantasy Football Calculator doesn't fit the pay-to-play model that state legislators are seeking to regulate, it could be a sign of things to come.

Day's website, which he developed as a Case Western Reserve University engineering student 11 years ago, focuses primarily on fantasy football mock drafts. But he told state senators in a letter that was included in a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 19, that he hopes to expand his software and content to customers who compete in paid fantasy contests, and would "like the freedom" to run fantasy contests as his business grows.

"This legislation lets me build out tools around the contests and leaves the option open down the line (to host contests)," Day told Crain's.

The bill, which would result in the Ohio Casino Control Commission overseeing and licensing the for-profit fantasy sports industry, passed the state House by an overwhelming margin in May. It's now in the hands of the Senate, whose recent proponent hearing included letters of support from top executives of the Cincinnati Reds and Columbus Crew.

Rep. Jonathan Dever, R-Madeira, one of the sponsors of House Bill 132, said that, unlike gambling, fantasy sports falls into a bit of a "gray" area in which it was never properly defined by the state.

Legalizing the industry would accomplish that, Dever told Crain's, and "make sure there are protections for consumers" who are competing in pay-to-play games such as daily fantasy sports.

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Expert on gambling disorders in the militiary to speak at conference

Clinton — An expert on gambling disorders among veterans and active military will be the keynote speaker at the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling's 14th annual conference next month.

The conference, "Empowering, Engaging, and Enriching in an Era of Expanded Gaming," is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Radisson Hotel Hartford.

Dr. Heather Chapman's address is titled "Rules of Engagement: Special Considerations in the Treatment of Gambling and other Addictive Disorders Among Veterans and Active Duty Military." She will share her perspective as a clinical psychologist, deputy director of the Veterans Addiction Recovery Center and director of the Gambling Treatment Program at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center in Ohio.

The nonprofit council's annual conference targets behavioral health and problem gambling counselors and professionals, educators and policymakers as well as professionals in the criminal justice and advocacy fields.

For more information, visit the council's website at www.ccpg.org.


Why is the PGA Tour concerned about gambling? Because the potential problems are too great to ignore

ATLANTA — On Monday, the PGA Tour announced what it’s calling an integrity program, an initiative that takes its long-standing policy prohibiting players from gambling to another level. The policy, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, now extends to a player’s support team, tournament staff and volunteers, as well as tour employees. To track gambling on golf in real time, the tour has also hired London-based Genius Sports.

On Tuesday, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said the move was a proactive one, and not reactive to a specific incident or larger concern.

“Our brand is sacred, and our brand has been established by the legends of the game and it goes back for decades,” he said. “We established this program not because we think there's a problem. It's just the world is dynamic, gaming is a reality in every sport. We think it's the right thing to do when your brand is as strong as ours is to really understand what the activities are and to be proactive.”

Maybe so. But there’s another element in play that is at very least on the radar.

According to a handful of players and caddies, wagers are made regularly by those on the “inside” (caddies, for example) and often done so in real time with up-to-the-second information being used in markets where live betting is permitted.

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What To Do About Gambling Among Your Retiree Clients

When Dominic C. decided it was time to stop gambling in 2012, the 50-year-old withdrew $56,500 from his IRA account at Santander Bank to pay back a gambling debt. “That wasn't the first time I used my retirement funds to help pay off casino debt,” he said.

Today, at 56 years old, the accountant completely abstains from any gambling at all and is paying back, under court order, a $187,500 casino debt, plus interest, but without dipping into his IRA, which is currently stable at $175,000.

"I learned the value of time and money the hard way,” Dominic told Financial Advisor. "Joining a support group of gamblers has saved my retirement.”

Older gamblers don’t have the same amount of time on their side.

Continue to read here.

Slot Machines 'Designed To Get Us Hooked' Says Australian Gambling Addict

A landmark trial against Crown Resorts and slots manufacturer Aristocrat began Tuesday in Australian Federal Court in Melbourne. The plaintiff, Shonica Guy, claims that slot machines, also known as “pokies” in Australia, stole 14 years of her life.

Guy is reportedly not seeking any damages and filed the lawsuit to expose the industry’s alleged deceptive practices to help other problem gamblers.

“For too long now, we have been told we are the only ones to blame for pokies addiction,” Guy told reporters. “I want this case to show the machines are misleading, and designed to get us hooked.”

Guy’s main issue is with the game Dolphin Treasure, which according to her lawyers is misleading because the game’s fifth spinning wheel is much larger than the first four, lowering a player’s chances of winning. The lawsuit seeks to ban Crown Resorts and Aristocrat from offering the game or any game with a similar configuration in Australia.

Crown Resorts denied the allegations, while the game’s maker Aristrocrat released a statement saying the company “emphatically rejects any suggestion that its games are designed to encourage problem gambling, or in any way fail to comply with all relevant regulations and laws.”

Guy’s opponents are quick to point out that the licensed and regulated machine’s 87 percent return is well-known, and that the game complies with national standards, but the trial will still be of huge interest to Australians, who display the highest rate of gambling in the world.

Australia also recently lost online poker, after the passage of the 2016 Internet Gambling Amendment Bill forced offshore operators to stop offering games to the nearly 130,000 online players in the country.


Five years after introduction, study says video gambling leading to crime upticks

September marked the five-year anniversary of video gaming legalization in Illinois. A new report claims that the societal costs of gambling may not be worth the tax revenue. 

According to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, Illinois received $1.3 billion in revenue from wagering in fiscal year 2017. Video gaming accounted for more than 20 percent of that. As of July 2017, there are 27,145 video gaming machines operating in Illinois. That's more than any other state, including Nevada.

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Ohio Lottery to soon accept credit cards at self-service vending machines

CLEVELAND-- The Ohio Lottery will soon begin accepting cashless payments at its self-service vending machines as it moves toward accepting credit, debit and e-wallet payments for all lottery purchases.

Last week, technicians began retrofitting 6,000 self-service machines at retailers statewide. They will accept cash and non-cash payments beginning October 29, according to an Ohio Lottery spokesperson.

“It's a changing consumer trend. More and more consumers aren't carrying cash,” Ohio Lottery Communications Director Danielle Frizzi-Babb said. “It's really a way of adapting to consumer trends and the way that consumers are behaving.”

Currently, retailers can choose whether or not to accept credit or debit cards for behind-the-counter purchases.

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‘Cash Explosion' viewers slam TV game show's overhaul

CLEVELAND -- Fans of Cash Explosion experienced a whole new edition of the Ohio lottery’s TV game show Saturday night.

And many of them aren’t happy with the overhaul…

Viewers filled Cash Explosion’s Facebook page with commentary surrounding their disappointment with how “boring” the new show is.

One fan even started a Change.org petition to bring the original Cash Explosion back.

“After watching the first episode of the new Cash Explosion, I found out that the new format was horrible,” the Change.org movement declares. “It eliminates the interaction and the excitement with the players. The set was dark and the theme music was creepy. … So, in writing this petition, I say we need to bring back the format we all know and loved very much.”

Only 15 people signed it as of September 4.

The previous incarnation of Cash Explosion had four contestants per round take three turns each to win money by slapping a stopper button that would land on a letter in the word “Explosion.” That player would then choose the corresponding letter in the word “Cash” they wanted to turn over. That person would win whatever prize money was revealed.

Ohio casinos report nearly $6M increase in August revenue

Gambling revenues statewide rose in August with Ohio’s four full-service casinos all reporting year-over-year gains.

Figures released Thursday by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the state body that regulates the industry, show 2017 revenue through August at $548.8 million. Year-to-date figures showed an overall rise of $5.9 million, or about 1.9 percent, through the first eight months of the year compared to the same period in 2016.

Hollywood Casino Toledo marked the largest increase for the month over last year with a 10.9 percent jump to $16.2 million. Through August, the casino has reported revenues of $133.9 million this year, up about 1.4 percent from $132.1 million from the same period in 2016.

In August, Hollywood Casino Columbus reported an increase of 8.4 percent to $18.2 million. Jack Cincinnati Casino’s revenue rose 5.4 percent with $15.4 million, while Jack Cleveland Casino’s revenues were nearly equal to 2016 with a gain of 0.8 percent at $16.8 million.

The monthly reports from the state include only revenue from gambling. Food, drink, merchandise, and event sales figures are not included.

The four gambling houses combined tallied $66.7 million for the month, an increase of $3.9 million or 6.2 percent over 2016’s $62.8 million.

The casinos’ August revenue slightly outpaced the state’s seven racinos, which pair horse racing with video slots and are overseen by the Ohio Lottery Commission, for the second time this year. The racinos garnered $79 million last month, a bump of $4.5 million or 6.1 percent from $74.5 million in 2016.

Licking the gambling problem

Jackpot gambling creates a unique set of problems for addicts, as they are hooked on the games and seem to be in a trance-like state when playing, said experts.

Some jackpot machine addicts may also find themselves skipping meals, and having an illusion of control over the machine.

As those who play jackpot machines tend to be "escape gamblers" seeking to avoid problems in real life, they may also require more targeted forms of treatment focused on helping them cope with negative emotions, said National Addictions Management Service (Nams) senior psychologist Lawrence Tan.

About 14 per cent of gamblers seen by Nams engage in jackpot machine gambling, and nine out of 10 are men aged around 40 on average.

While the problem gambling rate dropped from 2.6 per cent in 2011 to 0.7 per cent in 2014, according to a gambling survey carried out every three years by the National Council on Problem Gambling, analysis from consultancy H2 Gambling Capital also found that gamblers in Singapore suffered the second-greatest losses per capita in the world last year, after Australia.

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Casino operators push back against Japan regulation prospects

TOKYO (Reuters) - Foreign casino operators are pushing back against moves to regulate the proposed introduction of big-ticket gambling in Japan, an early sign of friction for projects expected to generate billions of dollars for the country and the global gambling industry.

Japan voted late last year to legalize casinos but specifics are still being hammered out to include in legislation on regulating proposed integrated resorts - facilities hosting casinos, hotels and conference space.

A key advisory panel on Monday held its final meeting on the rules, proposing a limit on casino floor space and curbs on entry by Japanese nationals. The panel is expected to submit its proposals to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe within days.

The prospect of casino gambling is unpopular in Japan, given worries about gambling addiction and a potential increase in underground activities. As a result, foreign casino operators have been cautious against speaking out against specific rules.

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Gambling Addiction A Focus Of Regulators, Gaming Company Management

Although it doesn't receive as much ink as substance addiction, gambling addiction is on the minds of gaming regulators and attorneys, according to a panel at the Saratoga Institute for Equine, Racing, and Gaming Law Conference this week.

Studies show one to three percent of the population suffers from gambling addiction, roughly on par with other impulse control disorders like shopping or sexual addictions. Gambling addiction is a recognized psychological condition, according to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the gold standard for such definitions), but it carries a stigma.

“If you think you don't know a problem gambler you're probably mistaken,” said Nanette Horner, executive vice president, chief counsel, COO at Empire Resorts. “A problem gambler doesn't have a sign on them. You can't smell it on their breath, they don't have track marks. It's a hidden disease, but chances are you have met a problem gambler in your life.”

Horner said many people wrongly believe gambling addiction is a character flaw or a matter of poor financial management. Rather, the impulse control element of the disorder means addicted gamblers are those who chase losses with more expenditures, who are unable to stop gambling, and whose gambling continues despite serious negative impacts on their finances and family.

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Mass. Legislature slashing problem gambling services funding by 17 percent causes concern among advocates

With casinos on the horizon and online gambling gaining more attention, the Legislature has proposed reducing funding for problem gambling services by 17 percent, according to the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, which is urging Gov. Charlie Baker and the Legislature to restore appropriations.

The $40.2 billion fiscal 2018 budget that's on Baker's desk includes $1.25 million for the Department of Public Health to spend on problem gambling services, $250,000 less than what was appropriated last year.

"These cuts to problem gambling services couldn't come at a worse time, particularly as online gambling is expanding, we anticipate new casinos opening in the coming year, and the Lottery had another record year," Marlene Warner, the council's executive director, said in a statement Monday. "The funding cuts will be devastating to our work treating those suffering from addiction and preventing problem gambling in the first place."

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Gaming trade group updates how it addresses problem gambling

One of the gaming industry’s largest trade groups announced an updated approach to problem gambling during a roundtable discussion on the issue at UNLV’s international Gaming Institute on Thursday.

Just before the discussion, the American Gaming Association's (AGA) released its updated Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming, which guides how the organization’s members — casinos, sports books, manufacturers and related businesses — deal with:

  • Promoting responsible gaming
  • Preventing underage gambling and unattended minors in casinos
  • Serving alcohol responsibly
  • Advertising gaming responsibly
  • Training employees
  • Raising awareness and promoting research into responsible gaming

The panel included Elizabeth Cronan, senior director of gaming policy, AGA; Alan Feldman, executive vice president, MGM Resorts International; Tim Richards, senior vice president of payments innovation, Everi Holdings Inc; Dan Shapiro, vice president of strategy and business development, William Hill; and Terry Johnson, a member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

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Ohio Lottery offers 3D mobile phone instant game option

CLEVELAND, Ohio -The Ohio Lottery is selling a 3D version of a $5 scratch-off game - becoming the second state to offer players the option of playing a game on their smartphone.

The augmented-reality Game of Gold debuted on Aug. 16 and will be promoted by the lottery soon.

The game, with two top prizes of $300,000, was modeled on one offered by the New York Lottery a year ago.

Partnership between Jackson Recovery, Hard Rock encourages responsible gaming

SIOUX CITY | Siouxlanders can try their luck at the roulette wheel at a local casino, purchase a scratch ticket at various grocery stores or play slot machines at a North Sioux City gas station.

And with the proliferation of mobile online gambling sites, they can gamble anytime, anywhere -- at home, work or school.

There's no shortage of gaming options, and some people who take advantage of them will develop an addiction, a chronic disease that changes the brain's structure and function, as a result. Adults, seniors and even youth, can all fall victim to compulsive gambling, which affects an estimated 2.5 million Americans.

"People can gamble on nearly anything. You can gamble when you play golf on the golf score, you can gamble on who the next president of the United States is going to be," said Nick Brown clinical supervisor at Jackson Recovery Centers. "It can be one of those exponential loss-type things, where I lost 100, then 200, then 400. It can just take off and skyrocket really quickly."

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Adult Gambling Addiction Tied to Childhood Trauma

Men with gambling addictions are more likely than their peers to have endured childhood traumas like physical abuse or violence at home, and treatment needs to address this underlying stressor, researchers say.

They examined survey data on a nationally representative group of 3,025 UK men aged 18 to 64 and found that roughly 5 percent had apparent gambling problems and about 7 percent were serious addicts.

Compared with men who rarely if ever placed wagers, the men with a pathological addiction to gambling were more than twice as likely to have witnessed violence at home or to have experienced physical abuse or assault growing up. They were also more than three times as likely to have suffered a serious or life-threatening injury as kids.

As adults, the men with severe gambling addiction were more likely to experience violence at home and at work; have relationships or marriages fall apart; lose jobs; have serious money problems; become homeless and be convicted of crimes.

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Does Relapse Mean Failure?

He relapsed, does that mean he failed? 

It seems like over and over it’s the same old crap, every time. 

Won’t he ever just GET IT?

Those words were expressed very loudly by a father of a son with a drug addiction: Me. 

No, no, no, this isn’t a current rant. Everything is still good with my son today. These are the words that still echo in the walls of our home. 

We all evolve and learn in the process of parenting someone with an addiction. When I first entered this world, my way of thinking was cut and dried, black and white. You either recovered or you didn’t. If you didn’t, you failed. 

Well, learning is hard, especially if you happen to be an adult. And when learning involves first unlearning what you believe to be true, it is particularly difficult. 

I struggled a lot. It literally took me years to understand what so many people told me over and over: Relapse is a part of recovery. It was hard to accept this idea when I couldn’t relate it to what I’d experienced and believed in my life.

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by Ron Grover, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids