WASHINGTON—More than $288,000 will be donated to the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) this fall as a result of a trio of programs spearheaded by the American Gaming Association (AGA). Netting the largest donation of the three, the 17th annual Gaming Hall of Fame Charity Dinner and Induction Ceremony, held Sept. 15 at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, raised nearly $150,000 in support of the NCRG’s responsible gaming outreach initiatives.
Traditionally the largest annual fundraiser for the NCRG, this year’s event occurred in conjunction with Global Gaming Expo (G2E), the gaming industry’s premier trade show and conference, and attracted close to 500 guests to honor the 2005 Gaming Hall of Fame inductees. Significant contributions to the dinner were made by more than 60 companies and individuals representing all aspects of the gaming entertainment industry.
Representing a diverse and incredible range of talent and influence in the gaming entertainment industry, this year’s inductees included Craig Neilsen, president and CEO of Ameristar Casinos, Inc.; Larry Ruvo, senior managing director of Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada; celebrity chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck and Academy Award-nominated entertainer Debbie Reynolds.
“Each year, the Hall of Fame Dinner generates a tremendous amount of support for the important work the NCRG does to increase understanding and awareness about problem gambling issues,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the AGA. “We are honored to recognize the significant contributions of our 2005 Gaming Hall of Fame inductees while simultaneously raising money for this important cause.”
This year’s event opened with a special check presentation by Courtney Muller, show manager and industry vice president of G2E at Reed Exhibitions, the AGA’s partner in G2E. Unveiling a check totaling nearly $90,000, Muller announced the donation marks a new tradition of giving for G2E, which from now on will make an annual gift to the NCRG comprised of contributions from G2E exhibitors and attendees.
“The generosity of our attendees and exhibitors has enabled us to significantly expand our
support for the NCRG,” said Muller as she presented the check to NCRG chairman Dennis Eckart. “In this way, the entire G2E family is contributing to this worthy cause and, as G2E continues to grow, so too will our annual contribution.”
Also generating significant support for the NCRG are the “Keep it Fun” responsible gaming awareness wristbands, which debuted the first week of August during Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW) 2005. According to Fahrenkopf, the wristbands have become a popular way for all gaming stakeholders to show their support for responsible gaming, and all proceeds from the sale of the bands goes to the NCRG. To date, nearly $50,000 has been donated to the NCRG through the program.
Eckart said the more than $285,000 raised for the NCRG this fall has been earmarked to fund new responsible gaming programming, which is part of the NCRG’s renewed mission to conduct targeted public outreach and education on disordered gambling issues.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) is the national trade association for the commercial casino industry. In addition to representing the interests of its members on federal legislative and regulatory issues, the AGA serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.
The National Center for Responsible Gaming (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 nearly $15 million to this effort, and the NCRG has issued more than $11 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. For more information, visit www.ncrg.org.