Inside Gaming Column: Group, Foes Duel Over Problem Gambling - Monday 6th of February 2006

The American Gaming Association recently released a white paper documenting the casino industry's decade-long record on promoting responsible gaming and problem gaming research, education and training.

The document supports arguments by readers who complained about a column which reported gaming executives welcomed the nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court, in part because of a ruling in a so-called problem gambling case.

Surely it is true, as Kevin Mullally, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission said, that the casino industry stands alone in recent U.S. history for identifying its product's addictiveness and developing programs to address the problem.

By comparison, the tobacco, alcohol and even automobile industries had to be bashed brutally in the Congress or the courts to address such issues.

The white paper reported that the association's programs standardized responsible gaming practices, and provided direction and heft to the industry's outreach.

The white paper also credits the association with advancing scientific inquiry into disordered gambling through its creation of the National Center for Responsible Gaming.

The white paper said both the association and the center are committed to working with employees and customers to increase responsible gaming.

A successful approach to treating gambling disorders lies in the industry working with public health officials, policymakers, clinicians and researchers to develop effective public policies and industry programs, the white paper said.

Industry critics have their doubts.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor Bill Thompson, who specializes in gaming studies, said comparisons of gaming with other industries miss the point.

He suggested that if the industry were really interested in excluding gamblers at risk, it could encourage states to license players, just as they license automobile drivers.

And Tom Grey, executive director of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, said until government holds casinos responsible, as it did with tobacco, alcohol and automobiles, the vast bulk of Americans at risk will not really be protected.

Although he said it may be impractical to require licensing of players, gaming companies should be able to identify who is at risk from their databases and act responsibly to protect them.

"Even if only 1 percent of players are at risk, that means hundreds of thousands have serious problems," he said. "Until we see numbers like that on lists of excluded players, we will know there is a problem to be dealt with."

Gaming Wire Editor Rod Smith can be reached by e-mail at rsmith@reviewjournal. com or by phone at 477-3893.

Other news from around the same time

City Club Casino Says 'The More, the Merrier' - Wednesday 4th of January 2006

City Club Casino has long been a leader in quality gaming and customer service, and now is a gre....


With a Flurry of Flashy Gadgets, CES Comes Back - Monday 6th of February 2006

Bit by bit, the expanding universe of digital entertainment will soon reconverge in Southern Nevada.....


CyberBingo Awards Milestone Jackpot - Wednesday 4th of January 2006

CyberBingo reaches another milestone: $25,000.00 awarded in a single guaranteed jackpot bingo ga....


DoylesRoom.com Offers New Tournaments - Wednesday 4th of January 2006

COSTA RICA – Staying true to the tradition of giving during the Holiday Season, DoylesRoom.com ....


Harrah's New Orleans Names GM - Wednesday 4th of January 2006

NEW ORLEANS – Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:HET) today announced that Jim Hoskins will be....


Full Tilt Poker Releases Mac Room - Wednesday 4th of January 2006

UNITED STATES – Play on Full Tilt Poker with a Mac or a PC. The most innovative poker room, Ful....


Games Inc. Sets Lottery Corporation Share Dividend - Wednesday 4th of January 2006

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Board of Games Inc. (OTC BB:GMSI.OB) is pleased to announce that all Gam....


Trans World Corp. Reports a $4.75 Million Capital Raise - Wednesday 4th of January 2006

NEW YORK Trans World Corporation (OTC: TWOC), announced today that it has completed the private ....


AWI Gaming Obtains Financing - Wednesday 4th of January 2006

LAS VEGAS – American Wagering, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: BETM) today announced that AWI Gaming,....


Fair Grounds Announces Schedule, Purse Changes - Wednesday 4th of January 2006

BOSSIER CITY, Louisiana Fair Grounds Race Course today announced additional enhancements to its ....