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Gambling in the USA

PA Gaming Control Board Renews License For Mohegan Pennsylvania

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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (“Board”) unanimously voted to renew the Category 1 horse track casino license of Downs Racing, LP, operator of Mohegan Pennsylvania in Luzerne County.

In making the decision, the Board determined that Downs Racing, LP had fulfilled the obligations under its previously approved casino operator’s license and therefore qualified to have its license renewed for an additional five-year period.

The decision to renew the license was based on a process utilized by the Board that enables both the operator and the public to provide information relevant to the renewal decision. A public input hearing was held in September 2023 in the casino’s host municipality, Plains Township, where personnel of Mohegan Pennsylvania submitted exhibits and presented testimony on various aspects of the facility’s operation since its last license renewal was granted.  The public was also permitted to provide testimony about the casino and its impact in the community.

In reaching its decision, the Board also received information from local government officials, community groups and the PA State Police, along with the Gaming Control Board’s Office of Enforcement Counsel, Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement, Office of Compulsive and Problem Gaming, and Bureau of Casino Compliance.

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Additionally, a public hearing was held in Harrisburg today to permit Board members to further question Downs Racing, LP representatives about any remaining issues prior to voting on the renewal.

Since its opening in November 2006 through December 2023, Mohegan Pennsylvania has generated $4,035,535,943 in gross revenue from the play of retail slot machines and table games, sports wagering and iGaming, and has returned to the Commonwealth a total of $2,066,749,049 from tax revenue, assessments and fees. Mohegan Pennsylvania currently operates 1,630 slot machines and 67 table games while employing 891 persons.

A PowerPoint presentation provided at the meeting which includes more details on Mohegan Pennsylvania is available on the Board’s website, www .gamingcontrolboard .pa .gov, under the Board Meetings tab and calendar date January 24, 2024.

Gambling in the USA

Rush Street Appoints Susan Foster as General Manager of Rivers Casino Philadelphia

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Rush Street Gaming announced that international gaming executive Susan Foster has been appointed general manager of Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

“Having worked in various gaming jurisdictions in America and several other countries, I’m both an advocate for and an example of the tremendous opportunities casino gaming provides. I’m very excited to be back in Pennsylvania at such a dynamic property,” Foster said.

Foster began her casino career as a table games dealer in the UK, Nigeria, and the Bahamas. She later spent 14 years in Mississippi at Grand Casino & Resort and Bally’s Entertainment, where she led table games and poker operations. She then served as director of table games for Odawa Casino in Michigan, before accepting her first Pennsylvania job with Harrah’s Philadelphia.

While at Harrah’s, Foster received Caesars Entertainment’s highest award for excellence in leadership. Thereafter, Foster transitioned from the gaming floor to casino operations in 2015 with Hollywood Casino, where she served as vice president of operations at multiple Penn Entertainment properties for nearly a decade. Her direct responsibilities included the performance and operations of slots, table games, poker, food and beverage, environmental services, security, facilities, and various hotels.

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Foster joined Rivers Casino Philadelphia in April 2024 as assistant general manager. She succeeds Eric Althaus, who recently departed the Philly property.

“Susan’s broad worldview of gaming operations has significantly benefited Rush Street since she joined last spring. Her history and familiarity with the southeastern PA gaming market has proven to be a great advantage for Rivers Philly,” Tim Drehkoff, CEO of Rush Street Gaming, said.

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Gambling in the USA

National Council on Problem Gambling Launches Tribal Advisory Council

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The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the only national nonprofit organization that seeks to reduce the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction, has launched the Tribal Advisory Council. While NCPG has worked with Tribal gaming entities for many years, the formation of the Tribal Advisory Council represents a deeper level of collaboration to address matters of responsible gambling and problem gambling that are of importance to Native American communities.

The Tribal Advisory Council seeks to increase awareness and respect for Native cultures as they relate to all facets of gambling so that these cultural practices can help other Native and non-Native communities. The Advisory Council will provide expertise and momentum for NCPG’s culturally specific work while recognizing the importance of Native American history and sovereignty in consultation with Native American leaders and experts.

“Our work with tribes is based on a deep respect for Tribal sovereignty and our core values of neutrality, collaboration, respect and credibility. We have a responsibility to listen and learn, as well as the opportunity to share our knowledge as we seek to reduce the social costs of gambling addiction and improve health and wellness in all communities. The relationships and partnerships we have forged over the years are the strong foundation for this exciting new project,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director.

To help facilitate the work of the Tribal Advisory Council, NCPG has partnered with Valerie Spicer and Sheila Morago of the Trilogy Group. The Trilogy Group is a Native American-owned and operated organization with over 50 years of combined experience in governmental affairs, business, economic development, and Tribal gaming.

“We applaud the formation of the NCPG’s Tribal Advisory Council and look forward to supporting stronger connection with the Tribes. This work acknowledges the significance of Tribal Gaming in the gambling sector, the impacts of Tribal gaming on communities, and ways we can support finding balance in helping people heal from gambling-related harm respectfully amid the complexity,” said Valerie Spicer, Trilogy Group Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer.

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Gambling in the USA

Vermont Department of Mental Health Launches Problem Gambling Support Site

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The Vermont Department of Mental Health has launched a new website designed to assist individuals and families affected by problem gambling. The new site, VTGamblingHelp.org, serves as a valuable resource for those seeking immediate assistance and support for problems related to gambling, as well as those looking to promote healthy and responsible gaming behaviors.

Over 11,600 Vermont residents are estimated to be struggling with a gambling problem. VTGamblingHelp.org provides new and vital support services to Vermont Lottery and Vermont Mobile Sports Wagering players. Key features of the website include:

  • 24/7 Helpline: Immediate assistance through the problem gambling helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER, staffed by trained professionals.
  • Live Chat: A live chat feature available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, staffed by problem gambling peer specialists.
  • Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program: A program allowing mobile sports wagering players to opt out of playing for self-selected periods.
  • Recognizing the signs of problem gambling: Tools to help individuals assess their gambling behavior and determine if they need help.
  • Treatment Options: Access to referrals for various treatment options available in Vermont, including counseling and support groups.

“Problem gambling can deeply affect mental health, finances, and family dynamics. This website offers a space for individuals to find the resources and care they need to navigate problem gambling behavior or learn about gaming responsibly,” said Elliott McElroy, the newly appointed DMH Responsible Gaming Program Coordinator.

Vermont treatment providers can use VTGamblingHelp.org “For Providers” page to learn more about upcoming free trainings to become certified problem gambling specialists. The Vermont Problem Gambling Clinical Training offers a free 10-session, 30-hour course to develop skills in gambling disorder assessment, treatment, and recovery support. Participants can earn up to 30 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) – 3 CEUs per live class attended – while learning from award-winning experts.

“As millions of Americans grapple with gambling addiction and millions more face the risk, these services are vital in promoting responsible gaming practices within our communities and providing support to individuals affected by problem gambling and gambling addiction. We are thrilled to have launched this site and optimistic about the resources it will provide to Vermonters,” DMH Medical Director Dr. Kelley Klein said.

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