NCRG Reaches Funding Milestone: Surpasses $12 Million In Total Funding

New Commitments From 11 Gaming Companies to Help Finance New Initiative

Oct 14, 2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. –New funding commitments from several leading gaming companies, along with proceeds from three charity events held in 2003, have pushed total funding for the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) beyond the $12 million mark. The most recent funding commitments will be used to launch the NCRG’s new initiative aimed at approaching disordered gambling as a public health issue and bringing together, with the gaming industry, all those concerned with working toward the continued advancement of research and understanding of disordered gambling.

Funding commitments from 11 companies have already netted more than $1 million for the new effort. Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., International Game Technology (IGT), MGM MIRAGE and Park Place Entertainment Corporation each pledged $1 million over the next five years; Argosy Gaming Company, Boyd Gaming Corporation and Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc., pledged $500,000 over the next five years; Aztar Corporation and Station Casinos, Inc., pledged $200,000 over the next five years; The Palms Casino Resort pledged $50,000 over the next five years; and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino pledged $37,500 over the next five years.

“Since the creation of the NCRG in 1996, the organization has done much to advance the field of research on disordered gambling,” said NCRG Chairman Dennis Eckart. “Most importantly, we have made significant progress toward the understanding of gambling disorders, and this field of research is more robust and respected than ever. The generous support of some of the world’s leading gaming companies have made these past accomplishments possible, and these recent contributions, from both new and old supporters of the NCRG, will lead us into the future. Disordered gambling is an issue that affects us all, and we look forward to playing a role in continued progress on the issue.”

In addition to the new funding commitments, three fundraising events from the past year generated sizeable contributions for the NCRG. This spring, two charity golf tournaments were held in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. JCM Corporation and the American Gaming Association (AGA) sponsored the tournaments, with Cooper Levenson April Niedelman and Wagenheim serving as a co-sponsor for the Atlantic City event. Together, the tournaments yielded $75,000 for the NCRG.

In addition, the NCRG raised $225,000 at the 15thannual Gaming Hall of Fame Charity Dinner and Induction Ceremony held in July as part of the grand opening festivities at the new Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.

Since it was established in 1996, the NCRG has emerged as the pre-eminent source of funding for disordered gambling research, sponsoring educational programs, raising public awareness of the issue, and, most significantly, creating and funding the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders at Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addictions.

Now that this phase of development has stabilized, the organization is poised to enter its next phase, Eckart said.

A cornerstone of new NCRG initiatives is the fourth annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction, scheduled for December 7-9, 2003, at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The conference, long popular within the addictions research and treatment communities, is expanding its program this year to include an entire conference track specifically aimed at these new audiences, providing a comprehensive, practical agenda for government and industry. The new track will offer a critical examination of the major issues facing the gaming industry, government regulators and public policy-makers.

“This conference will be an important step in opening dialogue among these groups,” Eckart said, “and the fruits of this collaboration will ultimately be a comprehensive public health approach to disordered gambling that takes us one step closer to meeting our goals.”

Beyond the annual conference, the NCRG plans to embark on several projects to create a dialogue surrounding scientific research on disordered gambling that will work to communicate to and educate a diverse audience base.

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 $12 million to this effort, and the NCRG has issued more than $6 million in support of groundbreaking research on gambling disorders. In 2000, the NCRG established the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders at Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addictions.