Welcome to the
June 2008 issue of the G4 Newsletter
Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues
– 4 July 2008
Hotel & Casino Perla
Nova Gorica, Slovenia
For up to date
information, registration and hotel booking
for the industry
Interested in an open training session on
Responsible Gaming, September 2008 in Amsterdam?
Please contact us!
Information systems for staff and players
Staff and customer
like G4 has achieved a well recognised reputation on the online gambling
market as a solid provider of counselling services and as THE auditing
group and certification agency on Responsible Gaming. However, dozens of
websites provide information on G4 without having a contract with G4,
trying to tell the outside world that they have an agreement with G4 and
work according to our standards. It is smart to check and eventually double
check if you’re not sure. Please contact us if you have any doubts or
think someone might be cheating.
The province is
betting on a new TV ad and poster campaign to help problem gamblers
In launching the initiative
Thursday morning, Health Minister Ross Wiseman said government has an
appreciation for the impact the problem has on individuals, families and
"This is certainly a serious issue in our minds and in the minds of
many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who've been affected by gambling
addiction," he said.
The campaign consists of four television commercials as well as posters.
Each portrays a person from a different demographic. The intent is to
demonstrate that problem gambling affects all ages.
It also endeavours, Wiseman explained, to speak to the real-life issues of
people who face a gambling addiction and the positive outlook that resulted
when they sought help.
For example, in one TV ad, a troubled-looking male senior is depicted and
says: "I got sick of losing sleep, trying to stop but failing over and
over. People depended on me, but if only they knew. Some days I thought
they would be better off without me. I got sick of betting, so I got
better." After a voice offers advice, the man returns, smiling, to say,
"Now, I feel like myself again."
The campaign concept, according to the minister, stemmed from discussions
with recovering addicts and is a result of their insight and willingness to
help others in similar situations.
"This reflects, clearly, the kinds of imagery they believe will have
an impact or would have had an impact on them," he said.
The toll-free help line will be staffed around the clock. The ads will run
on CBC-TV and NTV for the remainder of the year. The posters will be sent
to appropriate places such as doctor's offices.
Wiseman noted that the province has allocated an additional $14.6 million
annually for mental health and addictions initiatives since 2003.
One effort he outlined has addictions counsellors in place at 26 locations
around the province.
Statistics on that measure aren't yet compiled, but the minister said that
based on anecdotal evidence, those counsellors are getting numerous calls
and have busy caseloads.
"This tells us that people who need the services are accessing the
service," he said.
During the press conference, Wiseman noted that a very small percentage of
the province's population - less than two per cent - are considered serious
Transcontinental Media, 16 May
Macau casino dealers running games of chance succumb to
visions of easy Money and end up in debt.
minimum of a junior high school education and some English of Putonghua,
card dealers take home an average of 13.266 patacas a month, compared with
the average wage of 7.926 patacas across the city. With more casinos set to
open in Cotai next year, the demand doesn’t look like softening
– last quarter were 914 vacancies for dealers. While the plentiful
casino jobs have provided many with the chance to buy an apartment and
enjoy new restaurants and shops, the community is starting to realise the
cost of relying on an industry of chance.
up Macau’s gaming market has enabled
dealers to play. Each operator bans workers from gambling at its venues,
which kept dealers out of casinos prior to 2004, when there was only one
operator. Now, with six licence holders and 29 casinos, Macau’s
professional card players – trained in the “games of
fortune” – are free to pull up a chair at one of the
competition’s gaming halls.
Fong, director of the University of Macau’s Institute for the Study
of Commercial Gaming, estimates that almost a third of Macau's 44,743
casino workers are younger than 29, a group he believes is more vulnerable
to the potential traps of gambling.
An exaggerated self-belief, relatively high wage, low education
level and limited after-work entertainment are all combining to draw an
increasing number of young dealers to the tables.
and industry insiders agree that changes in the industry are needed to
provide locals with better job opportunities and prevent workers from being
tempted. Reserving dealer jobs for residents may be reducing their chances
of advancement, says Dr Fong, arguing that casinos are reluctant to lose a
local from the gaming floor and instead fill higher-up positions with
imported workers. The local employee requirement isn't law, but rather has
been enforced by the government's refusal to approve foreign applications
for particular positions. With the minimum entry age for casinos - and
therefore workers - likely to be increased this year, the government may
also be considering a change in the local dealer policy.
Most of the gaming concession holders the Sunday Morning Post
approached say they provide responsible-gaming training for their workers. A
spokesman for Sociedade de Jogos de Macau S.A.'s flagship property, Grand
Lisboa, which employs more than 3,300 staff, says inductees receive
"full instruction on responsible gaming, for their own and others'
sake, such as colleagues, family and friends".
Wynn Macau, which employs some 1,500 dealers, and Melco Entertainment's
Crown Macau, which hires 1,100, both say they include a responsible-gaming
element in their training for new employees. Galaxy Entertainment Group,
which has 2,800 dealers and dealer inspectors on its payroll, says it is
still developing a responsible-gaming policy, while the Las Vegas Sands'
Venetian Macao did not respond when asked about its worker education. However,
casino workers provide a different story.
South China Morning Post, 20 April 2008
to legalise online gaming
Poland is drafting
regulations to allow online gaming and betting in the second half of this
year according to reports in the country's press. The country's Finance
Ministry is said to be preparing "suitable legislative changes",
and will send them to the European Commission within the required
Clarion Gaming, 21 April 2008
Commission releases latest study results
In the UK,
a study from the Gambling Commission has found that the proportion of
adults participating in remote forms of gambling has remained static at 8.8
percent for the year despite the lifting of restrictions on advertising.
The Commission is the regulatory body for all forms of gambling in the UK
and the findings came following a national representative sample survey of
8,000 people conducted by ICM research.
Excluding remote participation in the National Lottery, the survey found
that only 5.1 percent of respondents had gambled online or by using a
mobile device or interactive television in the past month compared to 5.2
percent a year ago.
The study found that Internet gaming continues to be the most popular way
to participate at 7.1 percent, which compared to 6.9 percent in March of
last year and 5.2 percent in 2006. Mobile gaming was found to be popular
with 2.4 percent of respondents versus 2.5 percent last year and 2.2
percent in 2006 while interactive television remained almost unchanged at 1.8
Excluding National Lottery participants, the Commission stated that the
prevalence of Internet gaming climbed from 3.8 percent last year to 3.9
percent this year while mobile gaming fell from 2 percent to 1.7 percent
with interactive television remaining static at 1.2 percent. It found that
the National Lottery continues to be the most popular form of remote gaming
in the UK
with 6.3 percent of all respondents indicating that they take part followed
by sportsbetting at 2.3 percent, poker at 1.4 percent, other lotteries at
1.3 percent and casinos and bingo halls at one percent each.
The Commission also announced that it had commenced planning for the 2010
British Gambling Prevalence Study, building on the two previous surveys
carried out in 1999 and 2007, and plans to engage with academics and other
interested parties in advance of the tendering process.
8 May 2008
taught gambling evils in kindy
school students will be taught anti-gambling measures after it was revealed
children as young as 13 are battling gambling addiction. Counselling
services will also be made available to students with gambling problems,
under a radical plan to be introduced by the New South Wales Government.
Under the plan, students in primary and high schools will be taught about
the risks and consequences of gambling. The move comes as more counselling
services report an increase of young children addicted to gambling before
reaching puberty. "Young people are particularly vulnerable to
gambling and problems occur with some as young as 11 to 13," Kate
Roberts from Gambling Impact Society said. "We need to gamble-proof
them just as much as drug-proofing."
With research showing the most likely chronic gamblers are young men aged
18 to 24, Ms Roberts said gambling was becoming a risky ritual along with
drugs and alcohol.
About 12,000 problem gambling resource kits will be distributed to public,
independent and Catholic schools and TAFE campuses across NSW this year.
"The kit will give counsellors the tools to identify and respond to a
student developing a gambling problem or affected by a family gambling
problem," Gaming Minister Graham West said. "We need to inform
young people of the risks associated with gambling and the potential
consequences of a gambling problem."
Gambling counsellor for Waverley Action for Youth Services Madeleine
Tizcareno said her clients started gambling at 12, usually introduced by
She said the problem was so bad in Sydney's
Eastern Suburbs, that a new program - featuring an episode of The Simpsons
- will be launched teaching young gamblers about the odds of winning.
Some parents oppose the move to introduce primary school students to
anti-gambling messages, calling anti-gambling curriculum for five year-olds
think it's too young. Five is ridiculous," Berowra mother Anya Bartle
said. "It's the last thing they have ever thought about or need to
Mercury, 12 May 2008
The Cost of Gaming
It’s been hotly disputed for years, yet no
clear answers have emerged. The issue: social costs of gambling. Why good
data remains so elusive was the subject of a recent white paper by Douglas
M. Walker, Ph.D., professor of economics at the College of Charleston,
which was posted on the American Gaming Association website in January:
“Challenges that Confront Researchers on Estimating the Social Costs
of Gambling.” The paper was also the topic of a February article in
Global Gaming Business.
It’s not hard to see why the debate rages
on. With pressure from policy-makers and communities for hard numbers and
accurate statistics, and with pro- and anti-gamers marshalling their forces
on either side of the issue, researchers feel compelled to provide
information. But here’s where it gets tricky.
It’s been difficult to agree on a definition
of the term “social cost,” much less measure actual hard costs
in dollars and cents. For years, Bill Eadington, professor of economics and
director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming
at the University of Nevada, Reno,
has recognized the complexities inherent in the issue: “Estimating
the social costs of gambling is no simple task; rather, such an undertaking
is fraught with conceptual and empirical difficulties.”
The social cost question is rendered even more
volatile because the nature of the industry tends to polarize opinions:
“The casino issue remains highly controversial and political,
especially where it is still under consideration for legalization or
liberalization,” says Eadington. “Thus, both sides have a lot
of reason to exaggerate their positions.”
In addition, fuel has been added to the fire by
the media, notes Eadington, in that “the media has provided a willing
outlet for a controversial issue.”
Casino operators find themselves frustrated by the
lack of consensus on estimates of social costs and sometimes sketchy
research methodology. “There just isn’t any solid data,”
says Dean Hestermann, director of public affairs at Harrah’s
Entertainment. “Most of this research simply shows that when you
multiply one imaginary number by another imaginary number, you get
another—really large—imaginary number.”
Rob Stillwell, vice president of corporate
communications at Boyd Gaming, agrees that the lack of consensus on the
data is a source of concern for the industry: “In order to set public
policy, lawmakers need accurate data—not figures that might be
inflated in order to support a writer’s personal biases or beliefs.
That has been an ongoing problem in research on this topic, and public
policy has often suffered as a result. The Debate Continues.
Global Gambling Business, 5 May 2008
Eadington is one of the plenary session speakers at the EASG Conference in
July 2008. See www.easg.org for more details.
South Africa's national online
gambling bill passed
South Africa’s parliament
has approved the National Online Gambling Amendment Bill according to a
report from Reuters.
It has been over a year since the bill was introduced to help set up
regulations for the online gambling industry in South Africa which is currently
illegal in their jurisdiction whilst this legislation is being worked upon.
After a report by South Africa’s National Gambling Board found that
there was a need for the industry to have a licensing and regulated
framework, this bill was drafted to work upon and amend the
government’s policies most notably in their 2004 National Gambling
Act to include online gambling, (which actually stipulated the commencement
of the legislation for regulation of interactive gambling to be addressed
within two years from the date of the Act).
Attached to the National Gambling Amendment Bill was a memorandum stating
"The interactive gambling industry in South Africa is currently
unregulated and is generally plagued by crime, criminal elements, little or
no protection of players, uncontrolled exposure of children and other
persons vulnerable to gambling and a host of other negative factors."
Therefore most notably player protection, underage and other vulnerable
people protection, advertising, licensing-compliance and enforcement,
problem gambling and money laundering are the main topics to be addressed.
Only once President Thabo Mbeki has signed the bill will it become a law
upon their shores. Though it will probably not even come into force until
next year once all areas of the bill have been formulated, we can’t
help but wonder how this will affect the future of online gambling based in
22 May 2008
prefer web betting
adults - a key growth sector for Canada's
gambling industry - are very interested in such "technology
driven" options as online gambling, which is not yet legal in Canada, an
industry conference heard yesterday.
Citing a national survey, pollster Allan Gregg told the 2008 Canadian
Gaming Summit under way in Montreal
that one- third of Canadians say they are gambling less than they did three
years ago, while those under 35 years of age are more likely to be gambling
"Unfortunately for lottery jurisdictions in Canada, this younger group
favours the technology driven gambling options of the future," the
chairman of Harris/Decima told about 200 conference participants.
Online sports betting and Web-based poker games are considered acceptable
forms of gambling by 56 per cent of those 18 to 34 years of age, according
to a recent survey of 3,047 Canadians. Only 20 per cent of those over 55
years of age and only 35 per cent of those over 35 favored online sports
betting, Gregg said.
Younger people were also more supportive of interactive online lottery
games, buying lottery tickets via a mobile device or playing casino games
for money via in-home televisions, according to the 2008 National Gambling
Report, which Gregg presented yesterday.
Although current laws prohibit most forms of electronic or Internet
gambling in Canada,
Canadians spend an estimated $300 million to $400 million a year on online
gambling by accessing computer servers based in foreign jurisdictions or on
the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake, Paul Burns, vice-president of the Canadian
Gaming Association, said in an interview.
The Mohawk council contends that it has a sovereign right to allow and
regulate the computer servers on the reserve that play host to an array of
gambling sites. The council-run Mohawk Internet Technologies is considered
one of the global hubs of Internet gambling. Neither the provincial nor
federal governments have forced the issue, apparently fearing confrontation
with the Mohawks. Canada's
legal gaming industry - operated by provincial corporations such as
Loto-Québec - provides direct employment to almost 136,000
Canadians, according to a study by the Canadian Gaming Association.
The recently released study pegged total revenue from industry activities -
including casinos, lotteries, VLTs and pari-mutual gambling - at just over
$15.3 billion in 2006. Governments and charities received almost $8.7
billion of those revenues. The gambling conference and trade show, expected
to draw about 1,200 participants from across North
America, wraps up tomorrow.
Montreal Gazette, 30 April 2008
Only One Out of Three UK
Gambling Firms Fund Responsible Gambling Trust
Despite raising GBP 100,000 more than their goal of GBP 3.6million in
voluntary donations to fund research into gambling addiction and help
problem gamblers, the Responsibility in Gambling Trust (RIGT) reports that
funds came from only 1,000 of the 3,200 licensed UK gambling companies, and
hardly any from online poker and online gambling sites.
The majority of contributions came from larger companies, such as the big
high street betting firms and casino operators. This means that the
majority of smaller licensed gambling operators, including casinos,
bookies, bingo halls and online poker and gambling websites, gave nothing.
RIGT chairman John Greenway still remains optimistic about reaching their
target of GBP 7million in voluntary contributions by 2010. "I think we
can, but I think those parts of the industry which have been most generous
to us want to make sure they're not subsidizing non-payers." Liberal
Democrat culture spokesman Don Foster noted that the amount contributed
amounted to GBP 14 per problem gambler in the UK,
which is far lower than the GBP 44 in New
Zealand and GBP 40 in Canada. He told BBC Radio 5
Live that problem gambling was "a major and growing problem".
"It's the online gamblers on the whole who are not contributing,"
Foster said. He added, "We've got to say once and for all, 'Here is
the amount we want- GBP 7m plus, in a couple of years'. Let's use that as
the threat to the industry. Cough up double what's being paid now or else
we have a compulsory levy to raise that amount of money."
The UK Gambling Commission is
currently reviewing the effectiveness and level of the voluntary
arrangement for the gambling industry's funding of the RIGT. The BBC
reports that the Commission's findings, due to be published this autumn,
will be taken into account by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport
and will affect the likelihood of a compulsory levy.
Parents who abandon their
children for the casino or the pub could face up to three years in jail
under new Queensland
laws revealed today.
State Cabinet today considered
amendments to the Criminal Code, which currently does not allow for charges
against parents who leave their children unattended, unless the children
come to harm. Premier Anna Bligh said the law did not go far enough.
"This behaviour puts our children at risk, and it shouldn't be
tolerated," Ms Bligh said.
Should neglectful parents go to
jail? Have your say. Mr Springborg said jail was not the answer. He said a
better solution would be to extend the powers of the new Family
Responsibilities Commission, which will quarantine welfare payments to
irresponsible parents in some indigenous communities. Four indigenous
communities - Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge - have agreed to
be part of the welfare reform trial, due to begin in July.
"I think what we should be
doing is intervening and being far more judgmental as we've done in
indigenous communities to ensure those parents look after their kids
properly," Mr Springborg said.
"That will mean less time
at the casino, more time looking after their kids." But Ms Bligh said
Centrelink was already able to quarantine the payments of parents found
spending them irresponsibly.
"Centrelink already has
provisions in its legislation to do income management of people who are
unable to ensure the money they receive to look after their children is
going to their children," she said.
Ms Bligh said police would use
their own discretion to decide what length of time was appropriate for
parents to leave their children alone.
"They will make a
commonsense, man in the street judgment as they do on every other part of
the criminal law," she said.
"Leaving a 10-year-old for
10 minutes is very different to leaving a three-year-old for any length of
If passed, the laws will come
into effect by the year's end.
Mail, 14 April 2008