Posts Tagged ‘responsible gambling’

Education of a Poker Player Responsible Gaming Service Provider

by , Aug 4, 2014 | 4:51 pm

It’s Responsible Gaming Education Week, August 4-8, you probably know, or maybe not, because “responsible gaming” isn’t exactly something we celebrate in a culture that extols the virtue of being “All In”. And it’s not likely that poker is about to see any special prizes for best bankroll management or superior game selection or, say, excellent investment of tournament winnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

A man drops his wife off at the Palms Casino Resort, with a license plate educating his followers about a key tenet of responsible gaming.

So RGEW is an annual campaign from the National Center for Responsible Gaming, which is the AGA’s officially independent 501c3 that gets $25 million (a year?) from the casino industry to fund academic research in a transparent, peer-reviewed way that tries really hard to not look like Mad Men-era tobacco science.

This year’s theme: “Get to Know Responsible Gaming”. (A sensible revision to 2012’s plausibly oxymoronic “All In for Responsible Gaming”, no?) Anyhow, this new campaign caught my eye in part because I spent the better part of a semester last year doing research about gaming-related media and their connection to irresponsible gambling, particularly among those most vulnerable to manipulative messaging. Have a look if you like at 30+ pages of what is essentially just literature review on:

The Relationship between Digital Media and Gambling Behaviors
among Adolescents and Problem Gamblers

It’s riveting, I swear — delightfully long, dry, and unwieldy. I laughed, I cried, but mostly just committed follicular assault on myself while trying to grasp tenets of “academic writing” and APA style. (“Too much personality in your verbs,” my professor balked.)

Hey, it was good enough for a B. And if I learned anything from the process, it was that in a regulated industry there’s far more to the business of responsible gaming than a few glossy brochures in a dusty casino next to the taunting ATMs.

The Man Who Lost $127 Million

by , Apr 14, 2013 | 1:00 pm

Robert Turner OP-ED

Robert Turner


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.


Vegas Grinders: Games of Choice

by , Mar 8, 2013 | 8:15 am


It’s National Problem Gambling Awareness Week … (what’s it worth when the fun may or may not stop on the river?) And on this week’s show: large tournament crowds but lack of cash game space at the Wynn Classic … a semi-secret billionaire’s charity event at the Venetian … tales from Choice center life-coaching spreading across the felts … and speaking of the need for feelgood, Andrew goes on a downswing this week, and is still waiting for funds on Lock … while I try to win a $40 tournament at Luxor (WTF?) … and Dave breaks down pre-flop and post-flop contemplations of folding pocket kings. Ah yes, choices choices indeed … such is life at the 1-3 tables in Las Vegas, with NASCAR fixin’ to rumble through town:

Vegas Grinders 1.4

Conservative Magazine Says Online Gambling Coming (Soon!)

by , Aug 31, 2009 | 8:36 am

I’m not sure if it’s an endorsement of our efforts or a call to action to our opponents … but be sure to check out this lengthy article in the October issue of The American Conservative:

Coming Up Aces
Legalization of online gambling looks like a sure bet.

The piece does give some important numbers — projected internet gambling revenue in 2011=$144 billion, and a 2 percent tax on deposits in the Frank bill would mean $51 billion over 10 years — but I am a bit concerned that the writer makes repeated references to the UIGA (as opposed to the UIGEA).

However, I do like (I think — not totally sure, as I trust few in politics) that our most vociferous opponent seems to be preparing his supporters for a loss:

As the arguments stack up, opponents of Internet gambling increasingly don’t like their odds. “It’s going to be an uphill battle to stop it this time,” admitted Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Financial Services Committee in an interview with Politico. “We caught them off guard last time. This time we might not be so lucky.”

I also think I like that there’s talk about “putting profits toward helping addicts”. I dunno, just seems a treatment provision is important, and in general we (kudos to the PPA) have our bases covered this year more so than in legislative efforts past.

via @TheEngineer2008

Online Poker Amber Alert

by , Nov 3, 2008 | 10:06 am

Though this probably falls under the category of “bad for poker” … hey, it’s not like online poker has exactly been good for him. While the super-duper majority of us have lots of fun celebrating varying levels of degeneracy, a guy named Eivind apparently went a little off the deep end, and his friends are seriously concerned.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming poker itself as much as his friends are … if it wasn’t online poker it would be heroin … but either way, not a pretty picture, and a sad reminder that the online sites, in the spirit of responsible gambling, should probably have some sort of algorithm that monitors hours logged, rebuys, game escalation, etc. and sends out an alert when a user’s level of action reaches dangerous extremes. Of course that might just set a bar for many of us to strive for (“Hey, I got dangerous-gambling banned!”) … because doesn’t PokerStars already have something like that in play — I think they call it SuperNova?