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  • How Casinos Enable Gambling Addicts

    The Atlantic - 11/15/2016

    All of these data have enabled casinos to specifically target their most reliable spenders, primarily problem gamblers and outright addicts. Despite those customers’ big losses—or rather, because of their losses—the casinos lure them to return with perks that include complimentary drinks and meals, limo service, freebies from the casino gift shop, golf excursions for their nongambling spouses, and in some cases even first-class airfare and suites in five-star hotels. They also employ hosts who befriend large spenders and use special offers to encourage them to stay longer or return soon. Some hosts receive bonuses that are tied to the amount customers spend beyond their expected losses, which are calculated using the data gathered from previous visits. As Richard Daynard, a law professor at Northeastern University and the president of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, explained at the group’s forum on casino gambling in the fall of 2014, “The business plan for casinos is not based on the occasional gambler. The business plan for casinos is based on the addicted gambler.”

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