Wednesday, April 24, 2013

An Exciting Lineup for the 14th Annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction

By Amy Kugler, communications and outreach manager for the National Center for Responsible Gaming

This is the time each year that I get most excited about the many incredible speakers that are on the docket for the NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction. This event co-locates each year with G2E, allowing industry members, regulators, academics, researchers and clinicians the opportunity to continue discussing practical applications of the latest research on gambling disorders and responsible gaming.

Mark your calendars and join us for the 14th annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction September 22-24 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. This year’s conference will examine how the Affordable Care Act and the American Psychiatric Association’s newly revised diagnostic guide – the highly anticipated DSM-5 – will impact the field of gambling disorders and addiction as a whole. Here are some of the sessions and topics that we’re looking forward to examining:

  • Behind the Screen: Characteristics of Internet Gamblers Who Trigger Responsible Gaming Interventions – Dr. Heather Gray from the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance will present about her recent studies that examine what responsible gaming interventions can tell us about Internet gamblers with potential problems.
  • Lessons for the Effective Promotion of Responsible Gaming: leaders with expertise in cause-related marketing campaigns will lead a discussion of some potential ways to expand the communication of some of the industry’s responsible gaming programs.
  • The Evolving Definition of Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders – William Narrow, director of research for the committee that revised the DSM-5, will discuss the changes in the diagnostic criteria for gambling disorders and how those revisions may impact key stakeholders.
We also are putting together a town hall meeting for gaming regulators to bring them face-to-face with the leading scientists on responsible gaming issues, to open a dialogue about the next frontier of research on this issue.

We hope you’ll join us for this year’s NCRG Conference! For more information, visit

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An Industry of Giving

By Holly Wetzel, VP of Communications, American Gaming Association

Did you know that commercial gaming industry employees contribute nearly 300,000 volunteer hours a year? That data comes from a new report on industry giving and volunteering coming soon from the American Gaming Association, and I think it’s a pretty impressive figure. According to the report, in 2012 more than 36,000 industry employees participated in volunteer events that served more than 2,000 organizations.

The AGA conducted the survey of industry philanthropic contributions as part of its annual “All In” campaign to highlight the corporate social responsibility efforts of the commercial gaming industry. The full report will be released next week during National Volunteer Week, and gaming employees across the country will be participating in a host of volunteer activities to help their communities.

Here’s just a taste of what’s planned for next week:

·      Aristocrat Technologies has several staff volunteer events planned next week in Las Vegas, including building wooden toys for Toys4Smiles, assembling food and toiletry bags for seniors at Helping Hands, and organizing rooms and helping with spring cleaning at Street Teens.

Every Ameristar casino across the country will be hosting volunteer activities for employees. Examples include Ameristar Black Hawk, where employees will help put on the 2013 Craig Hospital Bowling Tournament. The corporate office in Las Vegas will help run an eyeglass donation drive in conjunction with the local Lion’s Club.

Isle of Capri properties also are getting in on the volunteer action. Isle of Capri Lake Charles employees will help build houses with Habitat for Humanity and host a resident birthday party at the local Gardens Assisted Living Center, among other activities.

Isle of Capri Boonville has big plans as well. Examples of planned activities include food prep at the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, and cleaning, general maintenance and storm cleanup at Columbia Second Chance.

MGM Resorts International employees in Las Vegas will be working at the Desert Wildlife Refuge to plant native trees, flowers and perform grounds cleanup.

In addition to these activities, the AGA will use National Volunteer Week to celebrate some of the most outstanding employee volunteers throughout the national gaming industry. Companies throughout the industry nominated Employee Volunteer All Stars, and the stories of our winners and finalists will be featured in a special section of the AGA website. I encourage you to check out their inspiring stories next week at  Take some time this month to learn more about your own company’s volunteer programs, and think about how you can get involved. The gaming industry truly is an industry of giving – when we all work together, the impact we can make is truly noteworthy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What Do College Basketball and College Gambling Have in Common?

By Amy Kugler, Communications and Outreach Manager for the National Center for Responsible Gaming

Even though they didn’t advance to the championship game, I was ecstatic to cheer for my hometown team, the Wichita State University Shockers, in the NCAA Final Four Men’s Basketball tournament. College students around the country also enjoy getting in on the March Madness action by filling out a bracket – and maybe even placing a wager on a game. Research shows that 75 percent of college students gambled in the past year. Many college students assume gambling is a risk-free activity, but research has shown that for about 6 percent of the population, gambling for fun could turn into a serious problem.

To help students, university administrators, campus mental health professionals and parents address gambling and gambling-related harms on college campuses, the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) developed The website brings together the latest research and best practices in responsible gaming and the field of addiction awareness and prevention. also provides free resources, fact sheets, presentations and other useful program materials that allow universities to address this issue in a way best suited to the needs of each campus.

The NCRG also has an interactive quiz on that explains both the research on college gambling and the trivia behind the NCAA basketball tournaments. You might even learn a few key research facts and trivia to use during watch parties for next year’s tournament.

Even though the tournament is over, make sure to take the interactive quiz, visit and pass the information along to any college students or their parents.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Players Club debuts at G2E Asia

By Mike Johnson, Director of Sales & Industry Development

Several years ago we at Reed Exhibitions restructured some of our marketing departments to create a new “Targeted Attendee Program,” or “TAP” for short, which is essentially a division responsible for recruiting the top buyers our exhibitors want to see at our events. That program within the G2E portfolio is called “Players Club,” and we’re very excited to be implementing that winning philosophy at G2E Asia next month in Macau. 

Through a series of ongoing conversations with our exhibiting customers, as well as independent research, we have been hitting the road throughout the year meeting with a variety of casino mangers in various markets to promote our content.  I myself will be leaving for another trip to Macau next Friday, and then I’ll be going on to the Philippines to meet with senior management from a variety of properties, including the new Solaire resort which just opened in Manila, as well as our friends at PAGCOR.  

I’m really looking forward to meeting with various managers responsible for table games, electric games, and security/surveillance which comprises the makeup of the Players Club and in turn the major product categories represented on the G2E show floors. 

We’re also visiting properties in Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Cambodia, Laos, and of course Macau which we frequent often via our nearby offices in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. This extensive ongoing dialogue with our exhibiting companies and strategic visitors is paramount in efforts to provide a G2E Asia event with unmatched business development opportunities. We’re a company that produces face-to-face meetings for industry professionals, and the best way to facilitate that type of business is for us to meet face to face with the ones we serve. I’m looking forward to seeing many of them soon!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Connecting with Women in the Tribal Gaming Sector

By Keli Elkins, Vice President of Industry Relations, American Gaming Association (AGA)

Are you a woman working in the Indian Gaming segment? Have you heard about Global Gaming Women? 

Over the last several months, the American Gaming Association's (AGA) Global Gaming Women (GGW) initiative has made a concerted effort to expand its outreach to the industry's tribal market. This effort began last year during G2E with the filming of several Indian Gaming leaders for the Coffee Break video series, which was discussed by Holly Wetzel in her post last week. 

Many of these leaders have gone on to serve as the chairs of GGW’s new tribal committee. The committee's first priority was to organize an event at Indian Gaming 2013. It was our second GGW event in as many years at that show thanks to the hard work of Kate Spilde and the support of our annual event sponsor, the Sycuan Institute of Tribal Gaming at San Diego State University. 

The committee brought together an amazing group of women to lead the breakfast discussion about building successful mentorships, including Libby Francisco, COO of Desert Diamond Casinos, Valerie Diaz, sales manager of international and specialty markets at Casino Del Sol, President Diane Enos of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Valerie Spicer, executive director of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association. 

More than 60 attendees were inspired by the panel’s discussion on mentorship, especially by their encouraging words about approaching female leaders in this segment. As one panelist put it, “We’re here. We’re approachable. We want to be mentors. If we were too busy we wouldn’t make time for events like these.” 

The committee hopes to build on the momentum of this successful event with additional GGW gatherings at regional Indian Gaming shows throughout 2013. They also intend to work with GGW to identify additional female leaders from this sector for the Coffee Break series. Finally, as we approach the launch of GGW’s Global Gaming Network for online mentorship, the tribal committee will help identify mentors and market the tool to rising female leaders. 

If you are interested in learning more about this committee or its activities, please visit for more information. If you’re a female leader working in the Indian Gaming sector and interested in becoming more involved in any of the aforementioned projects, please contact me directly to begin a conversation. We look forward to seeing you at GGW events throughout 2013!