Raining on the Parade

By Richard Schuetz Sun, Apr 7, 2019
Written by a gaming industry executive, this article addresses the importance of industry and regulatory leadership to show up to the table and truly understand and address problem gambling. Please share in your communities, with your legislators and leadership in the industry.

There is a story told in many Asian cultures of where six blind men come upon an elephant and they each describe the animal based on where they grab it. For instance, the blind man who grabs the tusk has a different reality of what an elephant is from the blind man who grabs the tail, as does the blind man who grabs the trunk, or the blind man who runs his hand along the elephant’s side, and so on. I believe that problem gambling is one of these elephants and would like to share my perspective from where I have grabbed that beast.

I started in the casino business in 1972, working for Bill Harrah’s casino in Reno, Nevada. At that time gambling was only legal in Nevada, and the two main Nevada markets were Las Vegas and Reno/Tahoe. Both markets were fed by visitors from outside the state, with huge visitation from the state of California, and it was somewhat easy for most to ignore the reality of problem gambling, for most of the problem was being exported out of Nevada. That is, when the people left Nevada to return to their out-of-state homes, they took their problem gambling issues with them. This is not unlike the chemical plant that dumps polluting chemicals into a river. The chemicals do not posit much risk to the locals, but they can be a significant health threat to those downstream. CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE