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Hard Rock International has launched what it lauds as a revolutionary “groundbreaking” initiative aimed at “changing casino culture.”

Through the new introduction, the company is debuting a gambling literacy and education programme designed by a gaming company based in the United States for users to use across North American and international markets.

The latest branded initiative is “the first in the US” to introduce a comprehensive education plan to meet the needs of all gamblers, ranging from young and casual players to experienced veterans, and anybody at risk or having problems.

The rapid spread of sports betting across the country will take center stage at the Winter Meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States, January 10-12 at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, with sessions covering:

- Sports betting from the perspective of the leagues and the athletes,
- Regulatory best practices in sports betting, and
- The unique aspects of sports betting in responsible-gambling efforts.

The NCLGS Winter Meeting is open to the public. Due to the high conference turnout, NCLGS is providing a list of eight first-class hotels that are within easy walking distance of the host Marriott. To view the hotel information and agenda, and register for the Winter Meeting, visit http://nclgs.org/index.php/events/nclgs-winter-meeting-san-diego-2020.

Loot Boxes Continue to Proliferate in Video Games

Loot boxes are on the rise, a new study conducted by the University of York led by David Zendle has revealed. Even though not technically a form of gambling, the study author believes that loot boxes expose children to gambling.

The number of children participating in gambling activities has risen across the United Kingdom with 1 in 10 children aged 13-18 involved. Meanwhile, the presence of loot boxes in video games has increased from just 4% when they were first introduced to 71% in the course of nearly ten years.

The introduction of legal sports betting in New Jersey last year has led to a dramatic increase in revenues, but has also led to a surge in gambling addictions.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy placed the first legal sports bet at Monmouth Park 17 months ago. Since then, there have been $4.7 billion dollars in sports wagers in New Jersey.

While the revenue is great for the state, with it has come a number of problems with gambling.

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)− announced the staff line-up to form its new advisory board. The Board seeks to provide a forum for participants in problem gambling and responsible gambling who are actively engaged with NCPG to provide their Board of Directors and leadership with guidance and insight on issues of importance.

There are two groups of advisory board members: emeritus advisors and broad advisors. The Board is made up of about 10 people of unique or extraordinary experience.

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has welcomed DraftKings as a Platinum Member in a partnership that is expected to further the development and implementation of responsible gambling practices in legalized sports gambling as it expands across the US.

The firm’s NCPG Membership supports the wide-ranging problem gambling prevention, treatment, education, and research programs, as well as innovative responsible gambling policies, provided by the National Council on Problem Gambling.

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the US organization for people affected by problem gambling and addiction, has announced a new advisory board, featuring a number of executives and senior personnel from across the industry.

The new board will provide advice and guidance to the NCPG in its efforts to support individuals and their families suffering from gambling-related problems.

The board comprises 10 individuals across two groups: emeritus advisors and at-large advisors. All members have been voted onto the board by the NCPG’s board of directors.

Ohio is one of several states with a chance to sign sports betting into law before the end of 2019. However, with distinct differences among key lawmakers in the House and Senate, it likely won’t be until 2020 before sports bettors in Ohio can put money down on their favorite teams.

Those differences are being worked out now. Ohio State House Rep. David Greenspan and Ohio State Sen. John Eklund are the primary sponsors for a sports betting bill in each of their legislative chambers.

Eklund’s bill, OH SB 111, would legalize sports betting at the state’s casinos and would put the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) in charge of regulating the industry.

Scientific Games Corp. has received a contract to implement its instant game management solution for the Ohio Lottery Commission. The Las Vegas-based gaming company announced it received a four-year contract in a press release on Wednesday, but it did not reveal financial terms of the deal.

DraftKings has joined the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) as a Platinum member, to further the development and implementation of responsible gambling practices.

“I am thrilled that DraftKings, a leader in online gaming and sports betting, has joined NCPG. This marks a new era in our work to raise awareness about problem gambling and provide resources for responsible gambling. We are excited to work with DraftKings to utilize technology and data to increase our mutual understanding of player behavior and reduce the risks for gambling problems,” Keith Whyte, Executive Director of NCPG said.

DraftKings’ NCPG Membership supports the wide-ranging problem gambling prevention, treatment, education, and research programmes, as well as innovative responsible gambling policies.

Ohio state senator John Eklund, like his state house counterpart, is cautiously optimistic there will be a sports betting law to pass in the Buckeye State in 2020.

Eklund and Ohio state representative Dave Greenspan are the primary sponsors in their respective legislative bodies who will do the bulk of the work reconciling their two bills into the one expected to move forward at some point next year. While Eklund said he and Greenspan “are not that far along on the bill,” they have had conversations and expects to meet soon with his counterpart. A meeting scheduled before Thanksgiving had to be pushed back because Greenspan was called into a House committee hearing.

The first of its kind program will be offered across all Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming casino properties in the United States and is designed to help players better understand their own behavior and the risks associated with gambling.

The PlayersEdge program also offers access to voluntary self-exclusion and referral to professional help and counseling services for players who feel their gambling has gone too far.

“We built PlayersEdge by listening to gamblers,” said Hard Rock International vice president of global social responsibility Paul Pellizzari. “We want to communicate the right information by appealing to how they actually think and behave in casinos.

Despite the NFL’s encouragement to the world to forget its suspension of Josh Shaw for betting on NFL games, it’s difficult to do so when so many questions remain. Coming from a league that can’t provide a concrete and consistent definition of the terms, “defensive pass interference” and “catch,” taking the NFL at its word that Shaw’s actions didn’t affect any games and he was a lone wolf who went rogue is a struggle to blindly accept.

For the sports betting industry, this is no trivial matter. Bettors and books alike depend on the premise that the contests are decided on the field, not by whether or not a player in them has some skin in the game from a gambling perspective. That’s why the NFL’s handling of the situation is not only insufficient given the gravity of the situation but becomes more problematic on a grander scale.

With the introduction of PlayersEdge, Hard Rock International is evolving gaming floor culture by changing how casino-goers learn about and manage their gambling.

The new branded program is the first in the US to apply a comprehensive education strategy to meet the needs of all gamblers — from new and casual players, to seasoned regulars and anyone at-risk for or experiencing problems.

It appears the differences between competing sports betting bills in Ohio wouldn’t be settled until the tail end of the legislative process. Ohio Rep. Dave Greenspan, a Republican from Northeast Ohio, offered cautious optimism Thursday that sports betting could be legal in Ohio at some point during 2020.

Greenspan is one of two primary sponsors of HB 194, which is the House version of Ohio’s sports betting plan. The corresponding Senate bill, SB 111, sponsored by Sen. John Eklund, also a Republican from Northeast Ohio, is in the committee stage as well. Greenspan believes the two bills can eventually be reconciled after they are brought forward by the two legislative chambers.

The hardest part about breaking my smartphone addiction, I think, is the sheer breadth of things I could be doing on my phone at any given moment. There are texts, and personal e-mails, and work e-mails, and various iterations of DMs to tend to. There are breaking news alerts to open, new podcast episodes to download, flash sales to peruse, and unlikely animal friendship videos to like on Twitter. On Sundays, I zealously monitor my fantasy football team's performance; on any other day of the week, I might open the app and just look at my roster, mulling over inane start-sit decisions I'm certain to get wrong anyway. There are one million potential distractions, and my phone enables all of them to succeed, one after the other. My thumbs usually ache by the end of the day.

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Josh Shaw was suspended indefinitely -- through at least the 2020 season -- for betting on NFL games on multiple occasions this season, the NFL announced Friday.

Shaw has not played a down this season for the Cardinals. He was put on injured reserve on Aug. 25 with a shoulder injury.

“Loot boxes” are becoming increasingly prevalent on computer video games despite rising alarm over the early exposure of children to gambling, new research suggests.

Research by academics at the University of York indicates that the prevalence of loot boxes – virtual bundles of random items exchanged for real-world money – is continuing to grow on desktop games: in the group of top games studied, the presence of loot boxes has increased from about 4% to 71% over the past nine years.

Every gambling machine across the UK’s betting shops will soon feature software designed to pick up on signs of problem gambling and prevent it from happening.

If erratic or excessive play is detected, the system will lock players out of machines for 30 seconds. While the machine is locked, it will display warning messages about responsible gambling on its screens. The artificial intelligence (AI) Anonymous Player Awareness System was launched earlier this month and developed by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).

A video monitor shows a video poker screen during the 2016 GPI World Cup at Mediarex Sports & Entertainment in Las Vegas in 2016. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Depending on who you talk to, the reinterpretation of the Wire Act by the U.S. Justice Department will either be no problem for Nevada — or a big problem.

Gaming industry legal experts have begun analyzing the effects of the new interpretation of a 23-page opinion issued Monday by Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel of the department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Major High Street banks will launch a crackdown on problem gambling this year by allowing customers to switch off spending on betting sites.

Lloyds, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland plan to block spending at the bookies‘ on their debit cards, by changing their banking apps to give customers control over where their money can be spent.

It comes after Barclays became the first major lender to allow customers to block categories of spending.

When sportsbooks open in newly legalized states, one thing follows as surely as the posed, ensemble end zone gathering that comes after every NFL touchdown scored by the defensive unit: the ubiquitous TV advertising promoting the new betting and brands by reaching out to viewers of sporting events, sports information shows, and other broadcasts.

For most older adults, gambling is simply a fun recreational activity, but for those who become addicted to it, it can be a devastating disease that can financially wipe them out.There are a number of reasons why seniors can be vulnerable to gambling problems. For starters, seniors are often catered to by casinos with free bus transportation, free drinks, discounted meals, special rewards and other prizes as a way to entice them.

In addition, many seniors use gambling as a way to distract or escape feelings of loneliness, depression or even a chronic health condition. Some may have financial problems they are seeking to overcome. And some may have cognitive impairment that interferes with their ability to make sound decisions.

The first of its kind program will be offered across all Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming casino properties in the United States and is designed to help players better understand their own behavior and the risks associated with gambling.

The PlayersEdge program also offers access to voluntary self-exclusion and referral to professional help and counseling services for players who feel their gambling has gone too far.

Until the ‘80s, someone throwing away large amounts of money on gambling was considered fashionable.

In the 1980s, the American Psychiatric Association officially identified pathological gambling as a mental disorder.

At that time, about 1.1 million Americans engaged in problematic and compulsive gambling. The number has increased since that time to between 5.1 and 8.4 million people in the United States that meet the criteria for the current diagnosis of gambling addiction.

The introduction of legal sports betting in New Jersey last year has led to a dramatic increase in revenues, but has also led to a surge in gambling addictions.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy placed the first legal sports bet at Monmouth Park 17 months ago. Since then, there have been $4.7 billion dollars in sports wagers in New Jersey.

While the revenue is great for the state, with it has come a number of problems with gambling.

Loot Boxes Continue to Proliferate in Video Games
Loot boxes are on the rise, a new study conducted by the University of York led by David Zendle has revealed. Even though not technically a form of gambling, the study author believes that loot boxes expose children to gambling.

The number of children participating in gambling activities has risen across the United Kingdom with 1 in 10 children aged 13-18 involved. Meanwhile, the presence of loot boxes in video games has increased from just 4% when they were first introduced to 71% in the course of nearly ten years.

According to the study, all 463 most played games on Steam, a digital marketplace for buying and playing games, have followed suite and introduced loot boxes between 2010 and 2019. The purchase of in-game items – known as microtransactions – has also increased to around 86% today from 8% previously.

Earlier this week, Nintendo confirmed it would be adding two paid subscription levels to its free-to-play game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. The company has since announced more information about the costs and perks of each level.

The pricier subscription level, the Cookie and Depot Plan, costs $7.99 per month for five fortune cookies. Fortune cookies are essentially loot boxes, and opening one rewards the player with a random item such as furniture or clothing. Players can pick cookies which have since left the game, and they will get more space to store items.

Gambling is not a game. This simple word game is carved into the mission of any gambling company in the world. Although, for example, in the US, only 2%-3% of the population meets the criteria to have a gambling disorder, in this case, the famous phrase “one is enough” is fully applied.

Therefore, all major gambling companies dedicate efforts to prevent compulsive gambling disorder that may consist of advertising campaigns, donations to organizations that promote safer gambling (BeGambleAware, GamCare, etc.), and several internal campaigns to make their products safer for customers.

The state of Ohio enjoyed a landmark month for gambling revenue according to the latest October reports from the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Revenue, excluding horse racing, for the month was up 5.7% compared to October 2018 as the state’s 11 casinos and racinos generated $158.4 million. Racinos in particular did very well with an 8.3% increase in revenue from $83.4 million in October 2018 to $90.3 million this year.

An Ohio man who defrauded investors of $2.5 million by posing as a multimillion-dollar lottery winner has been sentenced to 13 years in federal prison.

Stephan Kuljko Jr., 61, of Stow, Ohio, conducted the scam over a period of more than 10 years and used the fruits of his fraud to hoard luxury cars, with a Porsche, Jaguar, Hummer and several Corvettes among his illicit collection, prosecutors said.

Unlike his neighbor to the north, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine wants his state legislature to put a bill on his desk to legalize and regulate sports betting.

He reasons that the demand is there for legal sports betting to come to the state in one way or another.

He would prefer that it goes through the legislature and himself to make sure the bill is best for the state and the people of Ohio.

“He does believe that sports betting is coming and it’s important to do this through the legislative process,” Dan Tierney, press secretary for DeWine, told Legal Sports Report.

A harness racing track and casino in Ohio has proposed a $100 million expansion project.

Miami Valley Gaming and Racing in southwestern Ohio’s Warren County is considering adding a hotel, restaurant, parking garage and additional gambling machines.

Domenic Mancini, the racino’s president and general manager, said the expansion will allow the racino to attract business from other major cities beyond Cincinnati and Dayton.

Gambling revenue in October increased 5.7% over a year ago to $158.4 million at Ohio’s 11 casinos and racinos on the strength of improved business at nearly every location.

Only at Hollywood Casino Toledo was gambling down over October 2018, when the statewide total was $149.9 million, according to monthly reports released Friday by the Ohio Lottery and Casino Control commissions. Wagering on horse races is not included in the revenue totals.

Buckeye fans in the Horseshoe next fall might be able to pull out their smartphones and bet on whether the team picks up a first down when facing a fourth-and-1.

Sports wagering isn’t legal in Ohio yet, but some state legislators are betting that a bill will make it to the governor’s desk before the legislature leaves next spring.

Ohio is running behind other states in legalizing and regulating sports betting, but some lawmakers believe that a bill on the matter would be passed and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine by the end of the legislative session next spring.

That’s according to state Sen. Sean O’Brien, who is the sponsor of a Senate Bill that would give regulatory control to the Ohio Casino Commission and legalize sportsbooks at Ohio’s 11 casinos and racinos.

“We’ve been working on this for well over a year. I think we will get to an agreement, “O’Brien said. “That’s a safe bet.”

The bill proposes a tax rate on wagering profits of just 6.25% and that would be one of the lowest in the country: New Jersey and Indiana tax sports betting at 8.5% and 9.5% respectively, while Pennsylvania levies a colossal 36%.

Nearly anywhere you go, it’s easy to find children and adults alike transfixed by their phones, and while texting and social media certainly claim a big part of that attention, increasingly it’s gaming that’s drawing us in.

At the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly on Saturday, member states officially recognized gaming addiction as a modern disease. Last year, the WHO voted to include gaming disorder as an official condition in the draft version of its latest International Classification of Diseases (ICD); the vote finalizes that decision. The WHO’s ICD, currently in its 11th edition, serves as the international standard for diagnosing and treating health conditions.

Scientific Games based in Las Vegas has revealed that it is partnering with the National Council on Problem Gambling once again as it meets international lotteries in the responsible gaming campaign “Gift Responsibly. Lottery Tickets Aren’t Child’s Play.”

The company participating in the 2018′ Gift Responsible ‘ campaign, which also brought together U.S., Canadian and international lotteries, follows the widespread support for the initiative.

Pat McHugh, group chief executive of lottery for Scientific Games stressed: “Scientific Games is one of the first companies to be certified by the World Lottery Association as a responsible gaming supplier.

Gambling is the preferred source of entertainment for millions of people around the world. Most people gamble for recreation, but there are also those who do it because they are incapable of controlling the impulse to place bets.

This serious condition has many names – gambling disorder, compulsive gambling, pathological gambling, gambling addiction. Call it what you will, but one thing is certain – it leads to financial disaster and has the potential to ruin lives and relationships.

As a gambling-industry news outlet, casino guardian recognizes the dangers associated with such lack of control. Their latest infographic aims to help readers acquaint themselves with the symptoms of gambling addiction.

The NCAA is embracing “change” and starting the process of allowing student-athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness, the organization announced Tuesday.

The group’s top governing board voted unanimously to allow college athletes to be compensated, though the NCAA’s three divisions must still craft their own rules and detail the specifics.

Roughly a year and a half after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal law against sports betting and ruled that the question should be left up to individual states, Ohio lawmakers are mulling two bills that would make betting on sporting events legal.

Now, the debate among lawmakers is about who will regulate the industry and exactly what kinds of betting will be legalized, among other details.

Vici Properties Inc. agreed to buy the real estate assets of the Jack Cleveland Casino and the nearby Jack Thistledown Racino for about $843 million in cash.

Vici, which spun off from Caesars Entertainment in 2017, agreed to lease the properties to seller Jack Entertainment LLC at an initial annual rent of about $66 million, according to a statement.

Billionaire Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is the chairman of Jack Entertainment.

Ohio House Bill 194 (HB 194) has been in consideration for years, trying to determine if Ohio should be the next state to legalize betting on sports.

Bruce Johnson is president of the Inner-University Council of Ohio (IUC) representing all 14 of Ohio’s public universities, and testified last week before the Finance Committee, trying to keep betting on college sports out of HB 194.

“In a nutshell, we oppose gambling on college athletics because it will bring with it the potential to corrupt our students, cost a lot of money to maintain control, and lead to additional cases of problem gambling among our students,” Johnson said.

The IUC isn’t alone. Since the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban in 2018 the NCAA has been against the ability to bet on college sports.

As Ohio legislators consider whether the state should join Indiana and 17 others that have legalized sports betting, the president of the Inter-University Council consisting of Ohio's 14 public universities - including University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University and Miami University - testified before a House Finance Committee to oppose gambling on collegiate sports in the state.

Submit a Conference Proposal Today - Participate in the RG Ohio Lottery Campaign

The Pennsylvania Lottery has more than 1,850 outlets with screens displaying virtual animated football and auto races. The odds of finding someone watching a bet play out on the simulated sports action is pretty low...

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