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Problem Gambling Article in LA Times

Sunday February 21,2016 :  L.A. TIMES FOLLOWS PROGRESS OF CALIFORNIA D.F.S. BILL WITH STORY ON PROBLEM GAMBLING
 
Was the timing of this article planned?
 
Hard on the heels of news that DFS legalisation is gaining traction in the California Legislature, and Friday's launch of Assemblyman Adam Gray's new bill seeking the legalisation of online poker, the mass-circulation newspaper Los Angeles Times published a long article on problem gambling Saturday, claiming that "up to 1 million Californians already have a gambling problem."
 
Problem gambling specialists interviewed by the newspaper claimed that existing treatment and education programs are reaching only a small percentage of those afflicted, and that a growing number of younger punters are entering problem gambling programs.
 
The newspaper editorialised that the problem could escalate due to heavy marketing, especially by DFS companies, and the appeal of DFS and internet poker to "a younger, tech-savvy crowd new to wagering."
 
Yael Landa, director of the gambling treatment program at Beit T'Shuvah in Los Angeles warned that DFS gambling is very high risk, but that many players do not understand that and are in denial.
 
She revealed that the people seeking help from her institute had doubled in the past year, with many younger than the usual problem gambler age of 45, many of them fantasy sports punters in their twenties.
 
Timothy Fong, co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program, urged lawmakers to be cautious with any expansion in gambling, warning that this leads to a corresponding growth in problem gambling unless the right prevention and treatment programs are in place.
 
Fong went on to claim that the ease of access to online gambling could lead to more addiction (a point of view that has been questioned by results in various research programs.)
 
The article details moves in some US states to ban daily fantasy sports, contrasting the situation with the increased traction the genre is gaining in the state legislature.
 
DFS advertising was examined in the piece, especially that pertaining to big winners, who constitute only a small percentage of the masses who play, according to one DFS addict, who admitted to losses over several years of $100,000. "There are only a few guys like that and there are a million losers," he claimed.
 
Other typical compulsive gambler anecdotes are included in the piece to illustrate the risk of addiction and the financial impact that undisciplined gambling can have.
 
DFS officials reiterated their argument that betting on fantasy sports skill-based contests does not constitute gambling, with Fantasy Sports Trade Association chief Peter Schoenke explaining that there is a difference between DFS and online poker: Internet gamblers can quickly place bets, one after another, while fantasy-sports enthusiasts have to take time to research individual players, and there is one game a day for each sport, he said, clearly trying to put some space between DFS and online gambling.
 
The DFS industry is aware of the dangers of problem gambling, attempts to address these, and is open to ways in which compulsive gambling could be reduced, Schoenke said.
 
The LA Times also canvassed the views of the California Office of Problem Gambling, which head of office Terri Sue Canale-Dalman said received $8.4 million in funding a year, mostly from tribal casino operators. She revealed that around 2,000 individuals with gambling problems a year are handled.
 
The organisation conducted a study 10 years ago which showed that only 1 in 5 problem gamblers were aware of its hot-line, and that better communication and education could result in over seven times that number seeking help.
 
The article concludes with the opinion of Assemblyman Gray, who indicated that legalisation measures could help with problem gambling by allocating some of the fees paid to relevant programs as determined by the state Department of Justice.
 
"To the extent my legislation can provide additional resources, to increase the money available is a good thing," Gray said, explaining that legalisation bills require operators to include information on how compulsive gamers can get help, prohibit them from extending credit to players and mandate that a form be provided that would allow those with problems to exclude themselves from future play.
 
"To say we ought to just ban everything is just to stick your head in the sand, because [fantasy sports] is going on in California," Gray said. "Why not have a legal, regulated and safe option for people to engage in? I think that's the responsible thing to do."
 
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0221-pol-sac-fantasy-sports-20160221-story.html

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Gambling News :

GVC In Content Deal With Microgaming’s Quickfire - Microgaming-powered Prima Networks Limited will supply over 50 new titles to GVC’s recently acquired bwin Casino, PartyCasino and Party Poker gaming sites within the coming weeks.

Opap in memorandum of understanding With Inspired - Virtual sports provider Inspired has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Greek betting and lottery operator OPAP for the supply of its full suite of virtual sports, for integration online and across OPAP's retail network.

DeltaCorp To Acquire ace2three - Our readers will recall Delta Corp. acquired a 26 percent stake in Gaussian Networks, parent company of India’s largest online poker operator Adda52 earlier this month

More Australian POC Taxes - In an interview with The Australian, Tabcorp chief executive offer David Attenborough warned “global rivals” of his belief that other Australian states are moving fast to follow South Australia’s lead in implementing a point of consumption tax.

William Hill Exits Russia - "Starting from September 23 William Hill Casino Club will terminate its activities in the Russian territory for legislatory reasons. All active customer accounts will be suspended," the advisory reportedly detailed.

Pennsylvania Online Gambling Hearing Postponed till October - HR 2150, which includes DFS and e-gaming elements, was passed as part of the critical state budget bill by the House in June this year, with lawmakers expecting the bill to contribute $100 million annually in licensing and fees to help balance the state budget.

Two Mega Fortune Dreams Jackpots Hit - Both Swedish players, the first lucky punter hit a GBP 100,000 jackpot playing on his mobile phone, while the second, identified as Martin, staked just 18p before netting a GBP 60,000 jackpot on the popular series thinking he was playing in demo-mode.

ASA Looking at Ladbrokes and Netbet ads - A TV ad for Cosmo Gaming’s NetBet online casino was determined by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) as glamorising online gambling following a single complaint.

Betconstruct In Deal With Realistic Games - BetConstruct has agreed a deal in which it will integrate a range of Realistic Games online table and slot content including blackjack, roulette and slot titles Super Graphics Upside Down, The Fruit Factory and Fireworks.

XLMedia Half 1 2016 Earnings Report - Online gambling marketing company XLMedia, which operates websites driving players to online casino operators, delivered robust interim results for the first half of 2016, attributing its success to investment in technology.

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