It has been described as charitable gaming but when the totals reach the neighborhood of $75 million annually, there are many in New Hampshire who believe the activity rises to the commercial gambling level.
Because of the size of the activity, charitable gambling soon became part of the Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority report filed last week with Gov. Maggie Hassan, who formed the group to study future gambling in the Granite State.
In its report, the Authority suggested a number of regulatory changes regarding charitable gambling, as well as the proposal that a new regulatory structure be developed to authorize and regulate a commercial casino.
Ironically, the leading candidate for a commercial casino license would locate the facility at Rockingham Park where Millennium Gaming – owned by Las Vegas’ Bill Wortman and Bill Paulos – proposes a $600 million casino/entertainment project.
And, Rockingham Park currently provides the state’s largest charitable gambling operation, thus providing a major threat to charitable monies being generated.
The Wentworth-Coolidge Commission reported raising $37,744 during its charitable gambling days at Rockingham Park. That was only one group that benefited from its charitable days at The Rock.
There are other charitable gambling locations. One is Oceanfront Gaming at Hampton Beach. It was there the Sisters of the Holy Cross in Manchester raised $6,000 during its Oceanfront Gaming stint.
Most charitable gambling locations take on charities for 10 days of gambling. But, there are far more charities than there are gambling locations and opportunities. At Rockingham Park, there are 36 charities with game dates. They reportedly average about $55,000 raised during their allotted time.
One charity reportedly has waited five years to receive dates at Rockingham Park. This year, it hopes to pick up about $50,000 for its 10 days. This is far more than it has been able to raise in other locales, a spokesman said.
This past legislative session, a casino bill was approved by the Senate but rejected by the House, despite having the strong backing of Gov. Hassan.
She now hopes that with the recommendations of the Authority, at least one casino license will be approved. The next question would be where?

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The American Gaming Association (AGA), the national trade association for the commercial casino industry, today announced that three of the most recognized names in the gaming business, Wynn Resorts, Station Casinos and Churchill Downs Inc., have joined nearly a dozen other top gaming industry companies on the AGA board of directors.
“This is a critical step in the AGA’s evolution as a representative of the entire gaming industry,” said AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “We will continue to be passionate advocates for the enormous value the gaming industry provides and there is increasing support for our agenda.”
The AGA’s 2014 agenda includes widespread promotion of the value the gaming industry provides to local communities, enhancements to the regulatory process that promote greater efficiency and innovation, and a crackdown on entities that engage in gaming in an unlicensed and unregulated manner.
In addition to Wynn, Station Casinos and Churchill Downs Inc., the AGA board includes Bally Technologies, Inc.; MGM Resorts International; International Game Technology (IGT); Las Vegas Sands Corp.; Caesars Entertainment; Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.; Aristocrat Leisure Ltd; Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada; Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.; Boyd Gaming Corporation and Penn National Gaming, Inc.

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The Foxwoods Resort Casino says its slot-machine revenue for last month increased 2.1 percent from the same month a year ago.
The increase brings an end to a 22-month stretch of reports with year-over-year declines.
The casino said it had slots revenue of $43.9 million, up from $43 million in November 2012. Revenue is the share of wagers that the casino keeps. However, the total amount of money that gamblers wagered at the slot machines declined to $510 million, from $521 million wagered a year ago.
Slots revenue at the neighboring Mohegan Sun casino was $49.3 million for November, down 1 percent from a year ago.
Both casinos have seen spending by gamblers fall due to the weak economic recovery and new competition from casinos in nearby states.

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New Jersey casinos added 20,000 Internet gambling accounts last week.
The state’s Gaming Enforcement Division said that 91,531 accounts had been created as of Sunday. The number of individual gamblers who have played so far has yet to be determined, though, as some users have created accounts with multiple gambling websites in New Jersey.
Internet gambling began with a five-day trial period on Nov. 21 and launched publicly on Nov. 25. Seven casinos are offering online gambling, the most recent being the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, which began on Saturday.
The others are the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa; the Tropicana Casino and Resort; Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino; the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort; Caesars Atlantic City and Bally’s Atlantic City.
Resorts Casino Hotel also has received approval to offer Internet gambling. But their online partner, PokerStars, has been suspended from offering Internet gambling in New Jersey for two years due to an indictment against its founder.
The gaming enforcement division said PokerStars can reapply for approval before then if its circumstances change enough to bring it into compliance with New Jersey gambling regulations.
Online betting marks the biggest expansion of gambling in New Jersey since the first Atlantic City casino opened in 1978. The state lets gamblers play any of the games offered in its 12 casinos including card games and slots, but online poker has proven especially popular in the early going.
New Jersey is the third state in the nation to offer Internet gambling, after Nevada and Delaware.
The state approved Internet gambling earlier this year as a way to generate new revenue for Atlantic City’s 12 casinos, who continue to struggle with increasing competition in neighboring states. Atlantic City’s casino revenue reached a peak of $5.2 billion in 2006, and is likely to fall below $3 billion this year.
It remains to be seen if the $200 million to $300 million that Wall Street analysts predict Internet gambling may bring in over its first year will be new business, or whether it will simply cannibalize walk-in business at the brick-and-mortar casinos.

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Ninja Metrics (www.ninjametrics.com), industry leaders in Social Analytics for gaming, announced gambling industry services for the Katana Social Analytics Engine at the Social Gambling & Gaming Summit in Las Vegas, NV. Katana is an ultra-scalable, cloud computing-based social analytics platform that predicts the social influencers and monetizes the most valuable targets. The recently released platform serves a wide range of industries, but now has offerings specifically catering to social gaming and gambling industries.
“The gambling and social gaming industries have always been working to harness targeting solutions that will garner the most ROI, but they haven’t been nearly as precise or advanced until now,” says Dmitri Williams, CEO and Co-Founder of Ninja Metrics.
The Katana Social Analytics Engine uses exclusive, state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms to provide clearer insight into the health of social games and applications. By going beyond simple historical reporting, Katana is able to provide detailed projects for the outcomes that matter to developers and the features, interactions and mechanics that influence them.
Key Features of The Katana Social Analytics Gaming and Social Gaming Services
• Discover clear insights into the performance of your apps and games.
• Find out how much your customers will likely spend and how their social influence impacts your bottom line.
• Target your most influential and valuable users.
• Test different campaigns on your users and project the results across your user base.
• Flexible dashboard that includes support for: segmentation, cohort analysis, churn projections, conversion rate, revenue analysis, funnels and comprehensive KPI tracking.

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Slot players will have a million reasons to play in 2014 as Penn National Gaming initiates its inaugural Marquee Millionaire national slot tournament series.
The series will premiere at Hollywood Casino in Columbus, Ohio on January 2 and culminate with the million-dollar, grand-prize championship event, held May 2-4, at the M Resort Spa & Casino in Las Vegas.
Between January and April, 19 Penn properties, across six brands in North America – which include Hollywood Casino, Argosy Casino, Boomtown Casino, Casino Rama, Zia Park Racetrack & Casino and the M Resort Spa & Casino – will host qualifying events for slot players to win cash prizes and a seat in the million-dollar finals in May.
“We are excited to offer this million-dollar opportunity to all of our loyalty card members nationwide,” said Gaye Gullo, Penn’s corporate vice president of marketing. “Marquee Millionaire allows us to engage with a wider variety of players while also generating buzz around our one-in-200 odds of winning a million dollars.”
Lady luck will be with the 200 winners as they travel to Penn’s Las Vegas property to experience an exclusive VIP weekend of entertainment and competition at the Forbes’ four-star-rated resort. At the conclusion of the weekend, contestants with the 20 highest scores will win cash prizes, with the top player also walking away with the $1 million grand prize, which will be paid in annual installments over 20 years.
“Our guests can expect to experience a mini-vacation every time they visit our property,” said Scotty Rutledge, vice president of marketing at M Resort. “From our luxurious amenities to the exceptional customer service and VIP treatment they will receive, it’s impossible not to enjoy yourself.”
Qualifying tournaments vary depending on location and are open to Marquee Rewards and other loyalty cardholders at participating Penn properties. To obtain a Marquee Rewards or other loyalty card, visit card member services at any participating property; no purchase is necessary. Cardholders receive rewards and benefits for playing at any Penn property nationwide.

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