NCRG Elects New Board Members, Establishes Advisory Council

Gaming Executive, Native American Expert and Former Lottery Professional Among New Directors

Feb 7, 2005

WASHINGTON –The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) has broadened its board of directors by electing a former lottery administrator, a Native American affairs expert and a former public official, all of whom have demonstrated a strong commitment to responsible gaming issues.

Jan Jones, a senior vice president at Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., Eileen Luna-Firebaugh, associate professor of American Indian studies at the University of Arizona, and Eric M. Turner, a former lottery administrator, were elected to the board at the organization’s bi-annual meeting in Las Vegas in December. The board also at that meeting established an advisory council comprised of leading experts who study or work in different aspects of the gaming industry to provide ongoing strategic counsel to the NCRG.

“With more Americans than ever visiting Native American casinos and playing lotteries, it is important for the NCRG’s responsible gaming education efforts to reach beyond the commercial casinos,” said NCRG Chairman Dennis Eckart. “The addition of such a diverse group of board members gives us the insight and expertise to keep pace with the rapidly expanding gaming marketplace and ensures that our programs will have an impact in every venue where people gamble.”

As senior vice president of communications and government relations at Harrah’s, Jones oversees Harrah’s responsible gaming programs and broader corporate social responsibility initiatives, as well as government relations, public relations and community relations for 28 casinos across the country under the Harrah’s, Horseshoe, Showboat, Rio and Harveys brand names. Prior to joining the company in November 1999, served as the mayor of Las Vegas from 1991 until 1999.

Luna-Firebaugh, a member of the Choctaw/Cherokee tribe, focuses on law and public policy in the area of American Indian studies. Luna-Firebaugh is a member of the Arizona Office of Problem Gambling advisory board and the program advisory board of the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders. From 1998 to 1999, she served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of Pathological Gambling. She currently serves as a justice of the Appellate Court for the Colorado River Indian Tribal Court and as a tribal judge for the Sac River Band of the Chickamauga Cherokee.

Turner currently serves on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling and Scientific Games Corporation, a global marketing and technology leader in the lottery and pari-mutuel industries. He was the executive director of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission from 1992 to 1995, during which time he was elected treasurer and secretary of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. In addition, he participated in the 1995 North American Think Tank on Youth Gambling Issues at Harvard Medical School.

NCRG’s new advisory council will provide strategic counsel and ongoing tactical and financial support to the NCRG. According to Eckart, establishing such a board provides an opportunity to broaden the organization’s base of support and serve as an additional resource for the NCRG. It also provides a way for potential and retired board members to be more involved in the organization, he said.

Inaugural members of the advisory board are Greg Avioli, executive vice president of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association; Thomas Brosig, faculty fellow at the University College at Tulane University, co-founder of Grand Casinos and a retiring NCRG board member; Marc Falcone, managing director of gaming, lodging and leisure equity research at Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.; Penelope Kyle, executive director of the Virginia Lottery; and Bo Bernhard, director of gambling research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The first task of the new advisory council will be to develop a mission statement for the group and begin to identify additional candidates for recommendation to the executive committee.

Other directors currently serving on the NCRG board are G. Thomas Baker, chairman of International Game Technology; Robert Boswell, senior vice president of Pioneer Behavioral Health; Roland Burris, of counsel at Burris, Wright, Slaughter & Tom, LLC; Glenn Christenson, executive vice president, CFO and CAO of Station Casinos, Inc.; Sue Cox, founding executive director of the Texas Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling; Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA); Alan Feldman, senior vice president of public affairs at MGM MIRAGE; Richard Glasier, president and CEO of Argosy Gaming Company; Maj. Gen. Paul A. Harvey (Ret.), president and owner of PDH Associates, Inc.; Timothy Hinkley, president and COO of Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.; David A. Korn, MD, assistant professor of the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto; Brian McKay, of counsel to Lionel Sawyer & Collins; Kevin Mullally, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission; Carol O’Hare, executive director of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling; Phil Satre, retired chairman of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.; Glenn Schaeffer, president, CFO and treasurer of Mandalay Resort Group; Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D, C.A.S., associate professor of psychology and director of the Division on Addictions at Harvard Medical School; and Robert Stewart, senior vice president of corporate communications for Caesars Entertainment, Inc.

In addition to Eckart, officers include President William Boyd, chairman and CEO of Boyd Gaming Corporation, and Treasurer/Secretary Judy Patterson, senior vice president and executive director of the AGA.

The NCRG, the only national organization devoted exclusively to public education about and funding of peer-reviewed research on disordered gambling, was established in 1996. The NCRG supports the finest peer-reviewed basic and applied research on gambling disorders; encourages the application of new research findings to improve prevention, diagnostic intervention and treatment strategies; and enhances public awareness of pathological and youth gambling. To date, the casino industry and related businesses have committed more than $13 million to this effort, and the NCRG has issued more than $8 million in support of groundbreaking research on gambling disorders. For more information,

The NCRG established the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders in 2000. The Institute is a program of the Division on Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate. For more information,