Study: Youth gambling isn't just entertainment

Mar 21, 2013

Gambling takes place every day and is a rapidly growing form of entertainment. With the Superbowl in the rearview mirror and March Madness full speed ahead, many people have been placing bets as they root for their favorite teams to make it to the Big Dance. It’s more than just a game; it’s a big business for gamblers.

A study done by the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems, says that between 60%-80% of high school students have gambled for money during the past year.

    After the fall of Lehman Brothers, Joe Peta needed a new employer. He found a new job in New York City but lost that, too, when an ambulance mowed him down as he crossed the street on foot.

In search of a way to cheer himself up while he recuperated in a wheelchair, Peta started watching baseball again, as he had growing up. That's when inspiration hit: Why not apply his outstanding risk-analysis skills to improve on sabermetrics, the method made famous by Moneyball--and beat the only market in town, the Vegas betting line? Why not treat MLB like the S&P 500?

In his book, Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Not Necessarily in That Order), Peta shows how to subtract luck from a team's statistics to best predict how it will perform in the next game and over the whole season. His baseball "hedge fund" returned an astounding 41 percent in 2011-- with daily volatility similar to funds he used to trade for.

BOSTON (AP) — The gambling industry spent $2.3 million dollars lobbying Beacon Hill lawmakers in 2012, a drop from the $3.1 million spent by the industry in Massachusetts in 2011.

A review of lobbying records by The Associated Press found that despite the decline, companies hoping to land one of the state's coveted casino license still poured hundreds of thousands into lobbying.


The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has begun several days of meetings  to address dozens of policy questions.   It’s a prelude to the commissioners writing the final regulations to fully implement the year old gambling law and license resort casinos.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

       The gaming commissioners, meeting in Boston, voted unanimously Tuesday to set a policy that bans a community from holding a referendum on a casino project until it has been determined the developer is suitable to hold a gaming license in Massachusetts. 

Two high powered casino operators affirmed their commitments this week to pursue projects in Springfield Massachusetts.  Officials in Holyoke, a late entry to the western Massachusetts casino competition, are moving to form committees to review proposals from developers.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief  Paul Tuthill has an update on the fast moving casino story.


Officials in Springfield Massachusetts have agreed to changes in a casino selection competition to address concerns about the timetable that were  raised last week by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. It will likely push back until next summer a voter referendum on a casino in Springfield..  WAMC’s  Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.


      Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will give final approval today to a formal casino agreement with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.  The compact gives Massachusetts a lucrative cut of casino revenues and commits the state to help overcome the obstacles that could prevent construction of what would be the state’s first Native American resort casino.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.


A Nevada based gaming company says it is ready to build a casino on a former industrial site in Springfield Massachusetts.  The company says it has come up with a plan to address traffic concerns about the project, but it faces competition for a casino license.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

With less than 48 hours until the first race of the 2012 season at Saratoga Race Course – today we’re talking gambling.

While the Saratoga season is just beginning, already reports indicate Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to unveil the members of the New York Racing Association’s new board, whose installation was precipitated earlier this year after the naming of new president Ellen McClain without input from state officials, following the firing of former president and CEO Charles Hayward, an alleged party to a scandal that cost the betting public over $8 million.

Massachusetts Casino Panel to Take over Racing Commission

Jun 21, 2012

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is holding its first meeting after taking control of the state racing commission.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

The new five-member gambling panel is charged with licensing and overseeing up to three casinos and a slots parlor in Massachusetts.

Under the casino law approved by lawmakers and signed by Governor Deval Patrick, the panel is charged with overseeing virtually all gambling in the state, except for the lottery.

That includes taking over the responsibilities of the state racing commission.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will host a public forum on problem gambling.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

Members of the commission, the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Debi LaPlante and other research and gaming experts will be on hand for the commission's fourth public forum aimed at educating the commission and the community about issues associated with the introduction of expanding gambling in Massachusetts.

Political leaders and casino executives met late last week in Atlantic City for the 16th annual East Coast Gaming Congress and Hospitality Forum, where panelists said that individual states will likely begin approving internet gambling over the next two years because partisan gridlock in Congress.

MA Group to Host Symposium on Problem Gambling

May 21, 2012

The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling will host a symposium on problem gambling to discuss whether western Massachusetts is prepared to deal with expanded gambling.

The council is preparing communities to address problems associated with gambling as the state awaits the arrival of casinos after legislation was passed to expand gambling in the state. The prevention, intervention and treatment of problem gambling will be discussed.

The top two executives at the non-profit New York Racing Association, which operates New York’s three state-owned horse tracks, were fired last week amid allegations they knew the company was collecting more than the legal amount of so-called takeout on certain bets, costing winning bettors an estimated $8.5 million dollars.

The firings have called into question the idea of gambling and gaming in general, as Governor Andrew Cuomo calls for a constitutional amendment to allow Las Vegas style casinos in the state.

Plans for MA Casino near Patriots' Home Halted

May 9, 2012

Plans to bring a $1 billion resort-style casino proposed by Las Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn to the New England Patriots' hometown have been suspended.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

Tuesday's announcement from The Kraft Group and Wynn Resorts came after Foxborough voters elected two selectmen who opposed negotiations with Wynn.

He had planned to build the resort on land leased from Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Under a Massachusetts law legalizing casino gambling, casino developers must negotiate an agreement with the city or town where they hope to build.

The panel overseeing the Massachusetts’ new gambling law is weighing a plan to pre-qualify potential casino developers in the state. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…

Under the proposal discussed by the Gaming Commission on Tuesday, a would-be developer would have to demonstrate that it has sufficient financial backing and a track record in the gaming industry before it can begin negotiations with a host community.

A spokeswoman for the five-member commission said the panel would study the idea further before deciding whether to adopt it.

The chief executive of Foxwoods Resort Casino says rising competition is forcing the Indian-run casino in eastern Connecticut to consider online gambling and other changes. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

Scott Butera, CEO of Foxwoods, in a web-based discussion Thursday with The Day of New London, said supply in the casino business is clearly outpacing demand. Gambling has been legalized in Massachusetts and casinos in New York are taking a greater share of the market.

He said he expects additional venues and online gambling to be a part of Foxwoods' future.

MA Gaming Panel Hoping to Delay Key Deadline

Apr 18, 2012

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is pressing lawmakers to push back a key deadline by as much of a year, saying taking over the duties of the state racing commission will make it harder to get new casinos up and running.  WAMC's Tristan O’Neill reports…

Commission chairman Steven Crosby said the panel will meet the May 20 deadline if needed, but said delaying the takeover makes more sense.

Crosby said the commission is also working to better respond to city and town leaders who are already asking questions about potential casinos in their communities.

The five member Massachusetts Gaming Commission held its first public meeting Tuesday as it set about to bring casino gambling to the state.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

     Declaring  the decades long debate over whether to bring casinos to Massachusetts is over, Stephen Crosby, the chairman of the powerful gaming commission, said he and the other four appointees were ready to get to work to implement the public policy in the best way they can.  He pledged that much of that work would take place in full public view.

MA Casino Panel to Hold First Meeting

Apr 10, 2012

The five-member panel that will oversee casino gambling in Massachusetts is set to be sworn in and hold its first official meeting.   WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...

The agenda for Tuesday's meeting of the state Gaming Commission in Boston includes a number of administrative matters, including the election of a secretary and treasurer, the hiring of staff and the choosing of a law firm and outside gaming consultant.

The commissioners are also expected to adopt a mission statement and discuss several other matters, including ethics rules.