Jack Entertainment & Gan widen simulated gaming deal

Detroit headquartered gaming, hospitality, and entertainment firm Jack Entertainmenthas extended its pre-existing agreement with igaming software developer Gan.

The US operator sees its interests spread across four states, and encompasses in excess of 400,000 square feet of gaming space and over 13,000 gaming positions, in addition to its www.playjack.com website.

Via the enhanced simulated gaming deal, an aim of driving further engagement with patrons across Jack’s property portfolio through increased visitation has been set.

Adam Suliman, vice president of online gaming of Jack Entertainment, commented: “Jack Entertainment is excited to renew and extend Gan’s simulated gaming experience for our casino guests.

“Gan has proved to be a great partner, offering our guests a fun and interactive way to engage with our properties.”

In a joint media release between the firms, a series of highlights have been set out as a result of the extended relationship, which are as follows:

  • A delivery of Gan’s US-patented iBridge framework, linking the gamestack internet gaming system to Jack Entertainment’s existing casino management system, is to be deployed in Ohio and Michigan.

  • Simulated gaming is an internet gaming service designed by Gan specifically for land-based US casinos, offering a gaming-as-entertainment consumer website and mobile apps that include over 200 casino slot and table games, including poker, backgammon, gin rummy, poker dice and blackjack tournaments.

Dermot Smurfit, chief executive officer of Gan, added: “As expected, and in line with our other casino operator clients’ reported experience, Jack has experienced increased patron loyalty through increased visitation on-property and increased on-property gaming revenues, as a consequence of engaging with their patrons online as well as on-property.

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To fuel gambling habit, U.S. Post Office manager sold stolen stamps, embezzled from church: feds

After losing more than $667,000 while gambling in recent years, a manager at the U.S. Post Office in north Kenner stole $630,000 worth of stamps from his job and sold them online, federal authorities in New Orleans said this week.

Ryan S. Cortez, 46, also embezzled nearly $10,000 from a church in Des Allemands that listed him as its treasurer, all to fuel a gambling problem to which he confessed, the feds allege.

Cortez faces accusations of misappropriating postal funds or property following his arrest on a criminal complaint Wednesday.

According to the complaint, an agent with the U.S. Postal Service inspector general's office noticed there were $630,000 worth of stamps listed in reserve at the post office at 390 W. Esplanade Ave. when the usual amount is no more than $70,000.

Suspicion focused on Cortez, the manager of customer service operations at the facility, because he was frequently in charge of the office’s stock of stamps.

The agent, William Kuhn, then noticed Cortez had used the online marketplace eBay and the payment service PayPal to sell “large quantities of stamps at significantly less than their face value to several individuals,” the complaint said.

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Gamblers ignore new warning signs on Canadian slot machines

Millions of Canadians have played slots over the years. Slot machines in Canada have had large jackpot payouts in the last decade. But, most experts believe the odds of winning on a slot machine are slim. In fact, there are better odds of winning on a table game. Researchers have been studying the gambling behavior of Canadians. They have noted that even though some slot machines have warning labels, Canadians continue to play them.

The Research Project

Two professors at the University of Waterloo began a research project jackpot on slot machines. They started by studying the people who played them. The researchers found the slots games fool people into thinking they are winning, even when they are losing a game. For example, the researchers found many slot machines had flashing lights and musical celebrations. These lights would flash and the music would activate if a person had a close call or a near miss. They would also activate if a person won a small jackpot.

All these techniques made players think they were winning more money than they were losing— which wasn’t the case. The researchers found players reacted to a near-miss almost as they would if they had won a real game. The players’ overestimation on how much they won didn’t end until they were finished playing. Also, players seemed to think that near misses got them closer to winning, when, in fact, each spin operates independently.

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Cincinnati is a hub for sports gambling

Sports gambling isn’t legal yet in Ohio, but Cincinnati has become something of a hub for the sports gambling industry. And yes, we’re talking about the legal kind.

Pro Football Focus, based in Over-the-Rhine and owned by former Cincinnati Bengals great Cris Collinsworth, analyzes pro and college football games and provides data to teams and other clients. It has expanded with a service aimed at individuals who bet on football games.

Meanwhile, Worldpay Inc., the Symmes Township-based payments processing giant, has a fast-growing division that processes payments for casinos and is targeting the burgeoning legalized sports gambling market as an opportunity for significant growth.

A Supreme Court ruling in May opened the door to legal sports gambling, but each state still has to pass its own laws to legalize it. Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey and West Virginia have already approved it. Others have also legalized it but don’t yet have operators. Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana have yet to pass laws to legalize sports gambling. Nevada was previously the only state where people could legally bet on sports games.

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Northeast Ohio woman accused of stealing over $600,000 from elderly, disabled people

A northeast Ohio woman is accused of scamming elderly and disabled people while serving as their caregiver, allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of benefits, finances and even loans that she helped patients take out.

Lisa Dotson was indicted in September on five counts of theft, identity fraud and misuse of credit cards, according to court documents.

Dotson reportedly used the stolen funds on gambling, entertainment and luxury purchases.

According to the indictment, Dotson accessed financial accounts of an elderly man with disabilities and stole $633,736 by writing checks, using electronic payments and transfers, changing beneficiary designations and making ACH direct deposits.

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A gambling lesson not taught in school

The legalization of sports betting in all 50 states became plausible this summer as a result of the Supreme Court decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, which ruled the anti-gambling Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act violated the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As the NFL and NCAA football seasons are upon us, now might be an appropriate time for a reminder of the most popular gambling prevention phrase: the house always wins.

Yet, science explains that gambling addicts don't get the biggest high off winning, rather they do off the act of gambling itself. Whether it be waiting to see if their roulette predictions come true as the ball spins in a seemingly endless circle, or rooting for their home team beside their buddies with money on the line and chances of a big win, gambling addicts like the way their synapses fire during unparalleled anticipation.

Further, “the house always wins” proverb may be failing as a prevention phrase considering the sports betting market is a $70 billion industry, with billions more floating around the black market and still operable illegal gambling sites. If the old saying sufficed, the American gambling and casino industry collectively wouldn’t have profited $115 billion in 2016. Given the mass profits within the business, the dangers of gambling aren’t resonating and the ineffective phrase is in need of an update because the truth is the house doesn't always win.

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Pinnacle sale complete

Pennsylvania-based Penn National Gaming's $2.8 billion acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment is officially done, officials said Monday.

The deal expands Penn National's gambling properties from 29 to 41, including four Louisiana properties leased and operated by Pinnacle. They include L'Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, L'Auberge Casino and Hotel in Baton Rouge, Boomtown Casino and Hotel New Orleans, and Boomtown Casino and Hotel Bossier City.

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board approved the purchase in July. Tim Wilmont, Penn National CEO, said during the board meeting that the sale will make the company "the largest regional gaming operator in the United States" and will bring about $5 billion in annual revenue.

The L'Auberge or Boomtown properties will not be rebranded, according to Wilmont.

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Houston Police Officer Arrested in Illegal Gambling Probe

Four more people have received gambling and money laundering charges as part of an ongoing investigation in the Chinatown area

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Friday five people, including a Houston Police officer, have been arrested on gambling and money laundering charges, as part of an ongoing investigation by the DA’s Office and the Houston Police Department in the Chinatown area.

The DA’s Office said HPD officer Thomas Lam has been charged with providing protection for the operator of Café Thanh Quynh, an illegal gambling establishment located at 10804 Bellaire Blvd.

The café has hidden rooms where gamblers bet cash by playing gambling machines and members of the Kai Bang gang frequent the establishment. Such game rooms are considered crime drivers in the area, as they have lots of cash and are targets for robbery and violence.

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NSW government uses unclaimed gambling winnings to fund Jackie Chan film

What to do with the pot of pokies winnings left mysteriously unclaimed by punters each year?

In NSW, state law gives the government wide discretion to determine this, so long as there is a "community benefit".

This is how a Jackie Chan blockbuster flop and the world's richest greyhound race came to be among the biggest beneficiaries of a fund designed to redistribute gambling prizemoney back to the broader NSW community.

The 2017 sci-fi thriller Bleeding Steel, which featured Chan duelling with an evil villain atop the sails of the Sydney Opera House, was funded in part by a one-off direct grant of $850,000 from the NSW government.

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For compulsive gamblers, Mega Millions frenzy means 'constant reminders to play'

With the nation in a frenzy over the record $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot, addiction experts have advice for compulsive gamblers: Now, more than ever, is a good time to reach out for help.

The excitement over the jaw-dropping grand prize — along with a Powerball jackpot that has climbed to $620 million — is harmless fun for many people. But for those who have struggled with gambling addiction, the lottery fever can be a trigger.

"For people in recovery, this can be an amazingly difficult time, because there are constant reminders to play," said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, which operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700), a round-the-clock phone, text and chat hotline. "Many of them feel like they're just one bet away from winning everything back."

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Marc Etches - Independence Move Sees Gambleaware Secure its New Guiding Vision

Speaking exclusively to SBC, Marc Etches Chief Executive of GambleAware details the crucial developments and changes the industry charity has undertaken during the course of 2018, as GambleAware readies for the critical launch of its new UK-wide Safer Gambling advertising campaign…

SBC: Why has 2018 been such a critical year for GambleAware’s organisation, structure and operations?

Marc Etches (Chief Executive – GambleAware): During 2018, GambleAware completed its move to establish a Board that is wholly independent of the gambling industry.  This was necessary to secure public trust and confidence given our central role in commissioning research, education and treatment services.

Furthermore, we published our new Strategic Delivery Plan, which demonstrates the dramatic growth we are delivering across all three areas, with a budget of £16m for each of the next two years.  We will triple the number of people getting the various forms of treatment we fund, deliver prevention at scale through our education and harm minimisation initiatives, and commission an ambitious £8 million research programme as agreed with the Gambling Commission.

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World's worst gamblers: Australia's destructive love affair with sports betting continues to grow

The latest statistics, published this month, show that as a nation we bet $209 billion in 2016/17, an increase of 0.7 per cent over the previous year. Singapore is a distant second.

The data collected for the past 34 years and published annually by the Queensland Government Statistician's Office is considered the most comprehensive snapshot of gambling in Australia

It shows that, when averaged out across the entire adult population, Australians bet almost $11,000 per person, making us far and away the biggest betting nation on the planet.

"We see people who would not blink at spending $1,000 a bet," said Dr Kate Fennessy, the clinical lead at St Vincent's Hospital's Gambling Treatment Program in Sydney.

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Ohio Lawmakers Hold Meetings in Preparation of Drafting Sports Betting Bill

Ohio lawmakers on Tuesday hosted two meetings as the first step to crafting passable sports betting legislation. The meetings, hosted by senators John Eklund and Sean O’Brien (D-District 32), left Eklund feeling like lawmakers are on the right path.

“We’re taking the information we gathered at these meetings and the sponsors will get together and see if we can put some meat on the bones,” he said. “We’ll draft a bill and then entertain comments and suggestions, and I’d hope we might have a substantive bill ready to go. If not, we might need some more meetings.”

Eklund is aiming to have an outline done in a couple of weeks and, with any luck, a bill drafted shortly after that. Both the Ohio Senate and House have up to six sessions on the calendar in November and up to seven each in December. The goal would be to pass legislation before the end of 2018, otherwise, a new bill would need to be introduced at the start of the 2019 session.

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Mobile, online sports betting could increase bad gambling behaviors

With a prevalence rate of gambling addiction that is already more than twice the national average, New Jersey’s aggressive introduction of mobile and online sports betting has raised some concerns among responsible gaming advocates and experts.

Ease of access, expanded wagering options and increased marketing toward a new demographic of gambler are among the key issues that Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said could amplify both the number of people who develop poor gambling behaviors and the severity of the problem for sports bettors in the Garden State.

“I don’t think we’re really prepared for those things coming together,” Whyte said.

During a congressional hearing on federal sports betting regulations last month, Whyte referred to those combined factors as a “Frankenstein monster” that is “unprecedented in America, and indeed anywhere else in the world.”

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Study Not Playing Around With Gaming Loot Boxes

A new study with concerns about “problem gambling” habits has pushed for a closer look at loot boxes, the in-game rewards popular in online gaming.

Loot boxes typically contain something of value specific to the game—such as a new skill, accessory or weapon for a character—and can be either won or purchased. Over the years, games have become dependent on loot boxes as a source of revenue, and a black market has developed for loot boxes due to their value.

Now, a new study has raised concerns about the impact of loot boxes on gamers and suggested that oversight and even regulation may be necessary. Launched by an Australian parliamentary committee, the study was conducted by Dr. David Zendle of York St. John University and Dr. Paul Cairns of the University of York.

The professors recruited thousands of gamers from Reddit to ask questions about their playing habits, including spending, and found that loot boxes are indicative of a bigger problem. According to the report, gamers who tend toward “problem gambling” habits (defined as behavior or spending that negatively impacts everyday life and relationships) spent significantly more on loot boxes than average gamers did.

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What You Need to Know About Problem Gambling in Relation to Sports Betting

Fall is here, and with it comes the opening and closing of professional and college sports seasons. The changing of the seasons also brings an opportunity to consider safety as it relates to betting on these and other sports.

 The Supreme Court’s decision in May to overturn an existing ban on sports betting will allow the more than 118 million Americans who gamble on sports to wager–legally. The broad popularity of daily fantasy sports and the availability of mobile technology for gaming or wagering translate into a constant ability to bet on sports. In a 2017 U.S. consumer survey, 45% of respondents explained their wagering behavior as a way to make sports more interesting. Other reasons given included a desire to compete with other sports fans, or to feel the excitement betting brings, and its sense of risk. Among college students and athletes, sports betting as a form of gambling is second in popularity only to poker.

About 2 or 3% of Americans meet the criteria for a gambling disorder, characterized by a loss of control over gambling behavior despite negative consequences such as significant financial loss, relationship ruptures, legal problems, and erosion of mental and physical health.

Continue reading the article here.

FanDuel launches sports gambling via Alexa

It used to be that, in order to place a sports bet, a gambler would need to contact a bookie or visit a legalized sportsbook. Then the Internet was born, and sports gambling became available on a limited basis, depending on jurisdictions. Following that, with the great smartphone explosion, it was possible to tap on a phone’s keypad bets that needed to be placed. The next step in sports gambling innovation has arrived, and it will soon be possible to place a bet just by talking to Alexa.

FanDuel has announced that it has brought to the Amazon Echo, and possibly other Alexa devices, the ability to tell Alexa to open FanDuel. Specifically, FanDuel is offering connectivity to its Pick 6 product, a new Alexa skill that gives users the opportunity weekly to make six predictions on Sunday and Monday-night NFL football games. Users who land all six predictions will be entered into a daily fantasy sports freeroll worth $1,000.

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Gambling, game rooms still have strong hold in Honolulu

Gambling has long been outlawed in the islands, but that hasn't stopped people from getting their fix.

Illegal game rooms are also hot spots for violence.

Police arrested a 28-year-old man for a deadly shooting at a game room off Kapiolani Boulevard.

On Saturday night, police say Manu Sorensen and another man were trying to rob the place when Sorensen shot someone inside.

The victim, identified as Jacob Feliciano, 31, of Waipahu, died at the hospital.

Just one week ago, police responded to a shooting at what they called a game room on Palama Street in Kalihi.

We're told the suspect, Kilani Derego, 26, pulled out a gun and demanded money. 

As he was getting away, two men went after him and the gun went off three times. No one was hurt.

Derego was arrested at the scene.

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Gambling: 'A banking app helped me beat my addiction'

Tens of thousands of people have signed up to a new service from two mobile-only banks designed to help problem gamblers. One former addict says this "gambling block", available on the banks' apps, helped him beat his addiction.

"I'd be setting my alarm to wake up at 4am to do a first bet," says Danny Cheetham, who began placing bets in his early 20s.

"I'd plan my route to work so I could call in to a bookies which opened early for commuters."

Danny, who is now 29, found himself betting in bookies, on slot machines and online. He gambled a lot on football, which he doesn't even like.

He began relying on overtime from work and on payday loans. In the course of eight years, Danny, who's from Stockport, estimates he lost more than £50,000.

He sunk into depression and moved in with his dad as he could not afford to pay rent.

It was the death of his mum Christine in 2015 that he says was the turning point for him - but he was not able to kick his habit until he signed up to a gambling block with his bank, Monzo. The so-called challenger bank is a mobile-only version of a traditional bank.

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Gambler X: Why I don't like sports betting legalization

Gambler X is a professional sports bettor who makes his living betting legally in Las Vegas. He has agreed to share insights and experiences in the betting industry but prefers anonymity to keep his edge against the sportsbooks.

I am a professional gambler in my mid-30s, based in Las Vegas. Although I dabble in a variety of gambling ventures, sports betting is my bread and butter. For the past five years, it has been my family's main source of income, fed and clothed my children and allowed my wife to go back to school to finish her education. It has given me the type of personal and professional freedom that I try not to take for granted.

The life of a professional sports bettor is filled with worry. Imagine busting your butt all day, only to have the difference between a winning and losing day decided by a two-point conversion in a preseason game (that happened to me a couple of times this year). Sometimes those bad days turn into bad weeks, which turn into bad months ... which turn into bad years. It's impossible to not go at least a little crazy from time to time. It's basically a job requirement.

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