Posts Tagged ‘Robert Turner’

The Man Who Lost $127 Million

Opinion: Responsible Gambling and the Duty of Care

by , Apr 14, 2013 | 1:00 pm

Robert Turner OP-ED

Robert Turner


OP-ED

Putting a 24-hour casino in every home comes with great responsibility. Ensuring a safe, responsible gambling experience should be of paramount importance. Online gambling companies talk incessantly about revenue, but it is everyone’s responsibility–from regulatory bodies to operators, from governments to the citizens themselves–to require that all proper consumer protections and safeguards are in place before online gambling can go live. It is imperative that all stakeholders in online gambling be well versed not just in its benefits but in its pitfalls as well.

Perhaps one of the most dramatic illustrations of what happens when a gaming company puts revenue before responsibility is the case of Terrance Watanabe who is reported to have lost most of his personal fortune recklessly gambling in Las Vegas. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal published December 5, 2009, “During a year-long gambling binge at the Caesars Palace and Rio casinos in 2007, Terrance Watanabe managed to lose nearly $127 million. The run is believed to be one of the biggest losing streaks by an individual in Las Vegas history.” While Steve Wynn is reported to have barred Watanabe from his casino for compulsive gambling, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. welcomed him and derived 5.6% of its Las Vegas gambling revenue from him that year.

This case showed such an egregious lack of sound business judgment on the part of Harrah’s, now Caesars Entertainment, that the company was fined $225,000 by New Jersey regulators in March of this year. Gary Thompson, Director of Corporate Communications for Caesars Entertainment said, “Because of the confidential settlement agreement we reached with Watanabe, neither he nor we can make any official comment.” However, he points out that Caesars hired an outside agency to investigate the situation and made procedural changes deemed necessary to prevent recurrences.

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California Poker Players Conference – Day 1

by , Oct 20, 2007 | 9:48 pm

Mike CaroOver 100 people signed up for the first annual CPPC, and for its inaugural installment, the hosts seemed pleased. Not only were the attendees excited to be there, but they seemed inspired by the speakers – taking notes, asking questions, talking strategy and game tips during breaks. Some of the speakers set up exhibits to sell their books, distribute info about poker lessons and organizations like the PPA, and computers were even provided for the ability to e-mail members of Congress in the ongoing fight for poker rights.

Some key ideas from the day’s speakers:

• “If your only goal is to win pots, you can play and bet every hand, win some of them, and become the world champion of winning pots. But if your object is to make the right decisions, you can be a champion poker player.” – Mike Caro
• George Epstein gives speeches and poker lessons to seniors to sharpen their minds, leading to better overall health and quality of life.
• Lou Krieger gave top-notch poker tips. There’s a reason he has authored 11 poker books.
• Stan Sludikoff, long-time publisher of Poker Player Newspaper, has been speaking to Lyle Berman about a poker television channel. Plans are still being formulated but he insists that it will happen.
• Marsha Waggoner gave the best quote from Vince Lombardi: “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.”
• Russell Fox is an expert on taxes as they relate to poker players – amateurs and professionals. He knows his laws and seems to be the tax pro to the poker biz.
• John PappasJohn Pappas is extremely dedicated to the PPA. As Executive Director for only a few months, he has recruited numerous members of Congress to sponsor pro-poker legislation. And he bought me lunch.

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