Save the Date for Problem Gambling Advocacy Day 2019

Save the Date for Problem Gambling Advocacy Day

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, April 10, 2019 , to join stakeholders from across the country in DC for Problem Gambling Advocacy Day . By sharing your personal stories , concerns and priorities with your own elected officials on this day of action, you can play a critical role in shaping their decision-making.

This event brings advocates and lawmakers together to highlight the importance of developing strong public policies related to problem gambling, including sports betting. One legislative priority is allocating some of the $7 billion in federal tax revenue from gambling for much needed federal funding for education , research , treatment and prevention.

Click here to view NCPG flyer.

Gambling-Happy Nuns Allegedly Pilfer $500,000 From Catholic School

Two longtime nuns at St. James Catholic School in Torrance allegedly embezzled as much as $500,000 in tuition, fees and donations, perhaps spending some of the money on trips and gambling at casinos while telling parents the school was operating on a shoestring budget, officials and parents told the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

Bank records show Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Chang were embezzling from the school for at least 10 years, the Press-Telegram reported.

Parents told the Press-Telegram it was well-known that Kreuper and Chang traveled often and went gambling, but that they claimed they were gifted the trips by a rich relative.

The report said a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles told parents at a meeting, “We do know that they had a pattern of going on trips, we do know they had a pattern of going to casinos, and the reality is, they used the account as their personal account.”

Kreuper, who retired as the school’s principal earlier in 2018, handled all tuition checks and fees. She allegedly withheld some checks and deposited them into a secret account only she and Chang were aware of.

Read more here.

Casino gambling has not increased Mass. social ills, study finds

So far, casino gambling in Massachusetts has not significantly affected the state’s social and economic landscape, according to the latest findings from a research team led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“There is little evidence of marked socioeconomic changes to date in Massachusetts that can be attributed to gambling,” the new report concludes. The report is part of a long-term study, called the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts, being contracted by the state.

The report examined the effects of Plainridge Park Casino, a slots parlor in Plainville that opened in 2015. The latest findings do not include the MGM Springfield resort casino, which opened in August. It will be included in future updates.

Continue reading here.

National Framework will make Australia “a leader in social responsibility”

Australia’s first ‘National Consumer Protection Framework’ will solidify the nation’s status as “a leader in social responsibility in wagering”, according to the Minister for Social Services Paul Fletcher.

The six state governments of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia will now collaborate on developing consistent nationwide policies, regulating the online gambling sector.

Seeking to harmonise regulatory codes, practices and standards, the National Framework published its founding ‘10 measures’ which will be implemented progressively over the next 18-month period:

  1. Prohibiting all lines of credit for online wagering/gambling

  2. Barring payday lending functions for betting consumers

  3. Developing unified ID-verification standards and processes

  4. Applying restrictions on inducements – vouchers, refer-a-friend schemes and bonuses

  5. Enforcing a ‘voluntary opt-out’ player commitment scheme

  6. Establishing standards and requirements for consistent messaging on online gambling marketing

  7. Monitoring online gambling operator staff training

  8. Putting forward requirements on data gathering of player transactions and activities

  9. Supervising correct operator ‘Account Closure’ procedures

  10. Establishing and operating Australia’s ‘National Self Exclusion Register’

Read the rest of the article here.

Feds Would Have To Approve State Sports Betting Laws Under New Draft Bill In Congress

A draft of a federal sports betting bill has appeared in Congress in which the federal government would have to approve state laws legalizing sports gambling.

The draft is being circulated by the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch.

After promises from more than one senator to move forward on sports betting and a recent subcommittee hearing in the House of Representatives, the draft surfaced. It comes about six months after the US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban outside of Nevada.

Read the full article and see the draft of the bill here.

D.C. Sports Betting Bill Would Allow Sportsbooks in Professional Sports Arenas

D.C. Sports Betting Bill Would Allow Sportsbooks in Professional Sports Arenas

By Jill R. Dorson | Published: November 30, 2018 at 4:53 pm

If the sports betting bill that’s currently on the table in Washington, D.C. is approved as written on Tuesday, the District will be on the cutting edge of sports betting — the bill allows for five professional sports stadiums in Washington to have 24-hour-a-day sportsbooks that are open to the public.

According to Councilman Jack Evans, the plan is to allow professional sports teams to open sportsbooks at Nationals Park (MLB), Audi Stadium (MLS), CapitalOne Arena (NBA and NHL), the Wizards practice facility and the yet-to-be approved/opened RFK Stadium (NFL).

The sportsbooks would be open to the public, with no ticket to a game required, and patrons would be able to place sports bets at any time. The locations will be referred to as “sports betting parlors.”

“The professional venues are clearly a real big market for everyone because everyone who goes the game wants to bet,” Evans said in an interview with Sports Handle on Friday. “My understanding is that the facilities, either leased or owned by the pro teams, are going to build (sports) betting parlors.”

The concept is relatively new — only the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders have dipped their toes into the idea of having a sportsbook on site. While gambling is currently prohibited at sporting venues in Las Vegas, the Raiders have partnered with Caesars Entertainment, and Becky Harris, chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, told the Las Vegas Journal-Review in November that if gaming proposals for sports venues — sports betting or otherwise — are brought to her attention, she’ll “assess them on their merits.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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

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.

Read more here.

Firefighters discover 100 gambling machines inside Houston church

Firefighters called to reports of a fire inside a house of worship in north Harris County uncovered instead more than 100 gambling machines.

Crews were called to the 800 block of Turney Drive at around 7:30 p.m. Friday for a reported fire at the World of Life Church.

Firefighters arrived to find no signs of fire. However, the person who reported the incident said he was locked in by an electronic door lock.

Crews made their way into the church, where they found a large gaming room.

Harris County sheriff's deputies were called to the scene, where they took several people out of the church in handcuffs. The sheriff's office said it was interviewing people regarding the gaming room.

Read more here.

Ex-Liberal MP who resigned this week under treatment for gambling problem, prime minister's office says

The Ontario MP who abruptly resigned his seat this week is being treated for a gambling problem that caused him to rack up considerable personal debt, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office confirmed Friday.

Raj Grewal has also been looked at by the RCMP over an alleged conflict of interest being examined by the federal ethics commissioner, Trudeau press secretary Chantal Gagnon told the National Post.

The MP announced Thursday he was stepping down as MP for Brampton East riding, citing “personal and medical reasons.”

But it appears there is more to the story of his sudden departure.

“Earlier this week, Mr. Grewal told us that he is undergoing serious personal challenges, and that he is receiving treatment from a health professional related to a gambling problem that led him to incur significant personal debts,” Gagnon said in a statement.

“Based on these circumstances, we agreed that his decision to resign as Member of Parliament for Brampton East was the right one. We hope he receives the support he needs.”

Continue reading by clicking here.

The Match: $9m event indicates dangerous direction golf is heading

Cards on the table, I did not watch it. I had plans last Friday night and they were not going to be changed by The Match even though it carried a scary significance that stretched beyond a contest between America's two best known golfers.

Judging by the reaction to Phil Mickelson's 22nd hole victory over Tiger Woods I did not miss much.

The golf was mediocre by their standards, their much-vaunted "smack talk" was pretty dull and the destiny of the $9m (£7m) was settled by a 93-yard pitch and putt.

But this contrived contest offered a glimpse of where professional golf is headed. The destination looks terribly tawdry and potentially downright dangerous.

This was nothing more than a desperate attempt to make a quick buck. Never mind the $19.99 television charge, the most significant ground broken by this pay-per-view pantomime was the wager culture it promoted.

Changing odds were constantly updated as MGM's gambling app offered an assortment of "in-play" punts. The telecast featured betting experts effectively promoting the idea that the only way to enjoy the golf was to have some money on it.

Read more here.

Problem Gambling Court Soon To Be In Session

People from around the world come to Las Vegas for fun and excitement and that often centers around a slot machine or blackjack table.

But for some people, the fun stops and the compulsion takes over. When that happens, people can become desperate for money, which means they'll turn to crime to pay for their addiction. 

A new Clark County court will soon be in session specifically designed to hear cases involving problem gamblers. The court is the creation of Family Court Judge Cheryl Moss.

Moss said there should be a community response to problem gambling because it benefits the community to keep people out of jail.

The court will work like other specialty courts that divert people to help instead of jail. In problem gambling court, people who have been arrested for a crime related to a gambling addiction can go to treatment and if they follow all the rules outlined by the court, they can have their case dismissed.

Before the court, people who embezzled from their company or stole money from family members would have to face the consequences of those crimes. This way they can get the help they need.

Read the rest of the article here.

Sex, gambling and the internet – Vatican dives into ‘new dependencies’

Representatives from the Vatican are joining forces with scientific experts later this week to address the problem of drugs and a rise in what have been dubbed “new dependencies,” including addictions to sex, the internet and gambling.

Professor Nicolò Pisanu, President of Pontifical Salesian University’s Institute of Psychopedagogical and Social Sciences, and head of the “Progetto Uomo” [Human Project] of the Italian Federation of Therapeutic Communities, said there has recently been a change in the world of science when it comes to drugs, changing from the term “substances” to “dependencies.”

In comments to Crux, Pisanu said the reason for this change is that the type of addictions themselves have changed, and that “with new dependencies such as gambling and the internet, you can’t speak about substances anymore.”

“They are phenomena that bring dependency,” and because of this, there has also been a change in the type of therapeutic treatments offered to addicts.

Read more here.

Number of child gamblers quadruples in just two years

The number of children classed as having a gambling problem has quadrupled to more than 50,000 in just two years, a report has claimed.

The Gambling Commission study suggests that 450,000 children aged 11 to 16 bet regularly, more than those who have taken drugs, smoked or drunk alcohol.

Bets with friends, slot machines, and scratchcards, were most popular.

A campaigner on the issue, Bishop of St Albans Right Reverend Alan Smith, called it a "generational scandal".

"Today's findings by the Gambling Commission makes worrying reading and serves as a warning to parents," he said.

The Young People and Gambling report

Read the full article here.

The Bachelor Fantasy League is an actual thing for actual gambling addicts

Fantasy football season is wrapping up and CFB pick 'ems are all but picked. If you don't play NBA daily, it's going to be a long, cold, stakes-less grind until those March Madnezz brackets drop. Thanks to the good folks at ABC, however, there is one more option in case you, fellow degenerate gambler, get really, really, really (REALLY) itchy between now and spring:

The officially sanctioned Bachelor Fantasy League, which I now have to learn all about for the purposes of this article ohmygodwhathaveIdone?

Thankfully—and perhaps unsurprisingly, given the target audience—the BFL rules are pretty simple: Each week, League officials will present players with several hypothetical scenarios, such as who will be the first girl to cry in a Tahiti hot tub while drinking high-end champagne? Players then pick the 10 Bachelorettes they think are most likely to star in said situations that week, earning roses for each correct start. For the first four weeks, lineups are comprised of 10 Bachelorettes, with that total reducing on an episodic basis after week five, when the most obvious red flags start getting sent home. Lineups lock Monday nights at 7:59 p.m. You do not need to carry a defense.

Read more here.

Gambler went home and hanged himself an hour after he lost £25,000 at casino in ONE NIGHT playing roulette and 'crack cocaine' slot machines

A gambler lost £25,000 on roulette and fixed odds 'crack cocaine' slot machines in one night - then took his life an hour later, MailOnline can reveal

Huseyin Yaman, 37, lost the five figure sum in just a few hours playing one of the controversial machines and a gaming table at Aspers Casino at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford, east London, on Sunday night.

After being escorted from the premises visibly upset at his losses, he was found hanged at home in north London early on Monday morning.

His death has been reported to the north London coroner and an inquest will be held at a later date. 

Continue reading here.

Rise in gambling ad spend fuels fears over impact on children

The gambling industry’s spending on marketing surged to £1.5bn last year, prompting renewed warnings about the impact on children, days after a report revealed a steep rise in the number of under-18 problem gamblers.

A study for GambleAware, the UK’s leading gambling charity, found that betting companies have increased their marketing spend by 56% since 2014, with five times more spent online than on TV commercials.

The industry now spends £747m on direct online marketing, £301m through “affiliate” website such as tipsters, £149m through social media and £234m on TV ads.

The £1.5bn total means that gambling adverts account for 8% of the total UK advertising market, which according to market research group Nielsen is valued at £19bn.

Read more here.

Nine out of 10 pubs in England fail to stop underage gambling

Nine out of 10 pubs in England are routinely allowing children to play age-restricted fruit machines, the gambling industry regulator has said.

The Gambling Commission has written to several pub trade associations demanding that they clean up their act after an undercover operation revealed that most were making no effort to prevent children from using the machines.

The commission’s enforcement chief said the preliminary findings of the operation were “sufficiently concerning that we consider it to be in the public interest to release them immediately”.

Carolyn Harris, the Labour MP who led the successful campaign to slash stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), said: “Children growing up thinking feeding coins into a high-stakes machine is acceptable can progress to problems in adulthood. We legislate to stop underage drinking but ignore underage gambling.”

In 61 tests carried out by staff from local licensing authorities, trading standards and volunteer police officers, pubs’ failure rate to enforce age restrictions on fruit machines was 89%. The rate did not vary significantly between regions, nor between large pub companies and smaller ones.

Read more by clicking here.

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.

Here’s some of what the pair had to say … Continue reading here.

Women And Seniors Are Wary Of This New U.S. Legal Sports Betting Landscape, Poll Finds

Wives of television sitcom characters who worry about their bumbling husbands blowing the rent money on gambling have been a classic stereotype for more than 60 years.

Times have changed, and now women are now much more likely to be sports fans themselves.

So does that translate into an equalizing of attitudes toward sports betting, now that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May paved the way for any state to offer it?

Not according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll of respondents across the U.S. that was released on Friday.

And there isn’t just a gender gap when it comes to acceptance of sports betting — there is an age gap as well.

Men are from Mars …

First the gender gap: The poll of 741 adults (a sample size resulting in an estimated +/- 3.7% margin of error) asked men and women if they approved of the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down a 1992 federal law limiting sports betting, and while 52% of men approved of the ruling, only 28% of women did.

A significant gender split also was found on whether college sports should be included along with pro sports in legal betting offerings. Whereas 51% of men wanted both options, only 35% of women agreed.

(This is a particularly relevant question in New Jersey, where betting on games involving New Jersey universities or on college events held within the state is not allowed.)

Continue reading the article here.