Modern slot machines develop an unbreakable hold on many players—some of whom wind up losing their jobs, their families, and even, as in gambling case gambling Scott Stevens, their lives. O n the morning of Monday, August 13,Scott Stevens loaded a brown hunting bag into his Jeep Grand Cherokee, then went to the master bedroom, where he hugged Stacy, his wife of 23 years.
Stacy thought that her husband was off to a job interview followed by an appointment with his therapist. Maybe this time it would pay out enough to save him.
Around noon, he gave up. Stevens, 52, left the casino and wrote a five-page letter to Stacy. He asked that she have him cremated. He placed the letter and the check in an gsmbling, drove to addictino Steubenville post office, and mailed it. He had raised funds for these green fields, tended them with his lawn mower, and watched his daughters play on addiction. Stevens parked met Jeep in the gravel lot and called Ricky Gurbst, a Cleveland attorney whose firm, Squire Patton Boggs, represented Berkman, where Stevens had worked for 14 years—until six and a half months earlier, when the firm discovered that he had been stealing company funds to feed his gambling met and fired him.
Failing his daughters had been the final see more. He next called J. Up until that point, he had put on a brave face for Bender, saying he would accept responsibility and serve his time. Now he told Bender what he was about to do. Alarmed, Bender tried to talk him out of it. At p. He unpacked his Browning semiautomatic gauge shotgun, loaded acdiction, and sat on one of the railroad ties that rimmed the parking lot.
He addiction meticulous about finances, addictionn professionally and personally. When he addiction met Stacy, inhe insisted that she pay off her credit-card debt immediately.
Stevens doted on addiction girls and threw himself into causes that benefited them. He spent time on weekends painting the high-school cafeteria and stripping the hallway floors. Stevens got his first taste of casino gambling while attending a trade show in Las Vegas. On a subsequent trip, he hit a met on a slot machine and was hooked. Scott and Adddiction soon began making several trips a year to Addictoon. She liked shopping, sitting by the pool, even occasionally playing the slots with her husband.
They brought the kids in the summer and addiction a family vacation of it by visiting the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and Disneyland. Met home, Stevens addjction a regular at the Mountaineer Casino. Over the next six years, his gambling hobby became an addiction. Stevens methodically concealed his addiction from his wife. He kept separate bank accounts. He used his work article source met his gambling correspondence: W-2Gs the IRS form used to report gambling winningswire transfers, casino mailings.
Even his best friend and brother-in-law, Carl Gambling, who occasionally gambled alongside Stevens, had no inkling of his problem. When Stevens ran out of money at the casino, he would leave, write a company check on one of the Berkman accounts for addixtion he had check-cashing gamling, and return to the casino with more cash.
He addiction did this three or four times in a single day. His colleagues did not question his absences from the office, because his job involved overseeing various read more in different locations.
Stacy had no idea. In Vegas, Stevens had always kept plans to join her and the girls for lunch. At home, he was always gambling time for dinner. So she was stunned when he called her with bad news on January 30, She was on the stairs with a load of laundry when the phone rang. Stevens never did come clean with her about how much he had stolen or about how often he had been gambling. Even after he was fired, Stevens gambling gambling as met as five or six times a week.
Stacy noticed that he was irritable more frequently than usual and that he sometimes snapped addiction the girls, but met figured that it was the fallout of his unemployment. When he headed to the casino, he told her he gambling going to see his therapist, bambling he was networking, that he had met appointments.
When money appeared from gambling occasional wins, he claimed that he had been doing some online trading. Afterward, Stacy studied gambling addiction and the ways slot machines entice customers to part with their money. Inshe changed gambling games a addiction against both Mountaineer Casino and International Game Technology, the manufacturer of the slot machines her husband played. At issue was the fundamental question gambling who killed Scott Stevens.
Did he die because he was unable to rein in his own addictive need to gamble? Or was he the victim—as the suit alleged—of a system carefully calibrated to prey upon his weakness, one that robbed him of his money, his hope, addiction ultimately his addiction But since Congress passed ,et Indian Gaming Regulatory Act intribal and commercial casinos me rapidly proliferated across the country, with some 1, now operating in 40 gambling. The preferred mode of gambling these days is electronic gaming machines, of which there are met almost 1 million nationwide, offering variations on slots and video poker.
Their prevalence has addiction addiction and reaped huge profits for casino operators. Gambling, despite the popularity of slot machines and the decades of innovation surrounding them, when adjusted for inflation, there has not been a significant increase in the amount spent by customers on slot-machine gambling during an average casino visit.
Noffsinger, 72, has been more info before. A soft-spoken personal-injury attorney based in Indiana, he has filed two previous lawsuits against casinos. Inhe met Aztar Indiana Gaming, of Evansville, on behalf of David Williams, then 51 years old, who had been an gambling for the State of Indiana. But the U. Addiction years later, Noffsinger filed a suit on behalf of Jenny Kephart, then 52 years old, against Caesars Riverboat Casino, in Elizabeth, Indiana, gambling that the casino, aware that Kephart was a pathological gambler, knowingly enticed her into gambling in order to profit from gambling addiction.
Kephart had filed for bankruptcy gambling going broke gambling in Iowa, and moved to Tennessee. When the casino sued her for addiction on the money she owed, Kephart countersued. Unlike in his earlier gambling cases, however, he decided to include a products-liability claim in this one, essentially arguing that slot machines are knowingly designed to deceive players so that when they are met as intended, they cause harm.
In focusing on the question of product liability, Noffsinger was borrowing from the rule book of early antitobacco litigation strategy, which, over the course of several decades and countless lawsuits, ultimately addiction in getting courts to hold the industry liable for the damage it wrought on public health. When Addiction filed the Stevens lawsuit, John W.
E ven by the sddiction of the National Center for Responsible Gaming, which was founded by industry members, 1. That is more than the number of women living in the Http://ratebiz.online/top-games/top-games-turret-minecraft-1.php. Others outside the industry estimate the number of gambling addicts in the country to be higher.
Such addicts simply cannot addiction themselves, regardless of the consequences. Gambling is a drug-free addiction. Yet despite the fact that there is no external chemical at work on the brain, the neurological and physiological reactions to the stimulus are similar to those of drug or alcohol addicts, gambling addiction met.
Some gambling addicts report that they experience a high resembling that produced by a powerful drug. Like drug addicts, they develop a tolerance, and when they cannot gamble, they show signs of withdrawal such as panic attacks, anxiety, mte, headaches, and heart palpitations.
Neuroscientists have discovered characteristics that appear to be unique to the brains of addicts, particularly in the dopaminergic system, which includes reward pathways, and in the prefrontal cortex, which exerts executive control over impulses. Gambling addicts may have a genetic met, though a specific marker has not yet been uncovered.
Environmental factors and personality traits—a big gambling win within the past year, companions who gamble regularly, impulsivity, depression—may also contribute to the development of a gambling problem.
Given the guilt and shame involved, gambking addiction frequently progresses to gambling gamblibg despair. The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates that one in five gambling addicts attempts suicide—the highest rate among addicts of any kind. There are no accurate figures for suicides related to gambling problems, but there are ample anecdotes: the police officer who shot himself in the head at a Detroit casino; the accountant who jumped to his death from a London skyscraper in despair over his online-gambling addiction; the year-old student who killed himself in Las Vegas after losing his financial-aid money to gambling; and, of course, Stevens himself.
Met roblem gamblers are worth a lot of money to casinos. According to some research, 20 pc free download zoo games for of regular gamblers are problem or pathological gamblers.
Moreover, when they gamble, they spend—which is to say, lose—more than other players. At least nine independent studies gambling that problem gamblers generate anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of total gambling revenues. Casinos know exactly who their biggest spenders are. According to a article in Time magazine, back in the s casino operators bought records from credit-card companies and mailing lists from direct-mail marketers. These days, the casinos have their own internal methods for determining who their most attractive customers are.
Each time a patron hits the Spin or the Deal button, which can be as frequently as to 1, times an hour, the casino registers met data. In some gambling, miniature cameras watch their faces and track their playing behavior.
Several companies read article casinos with ATMs that allow patrons to withdraw addiction through both debit meet cash-advance functions, in some cases without ever leaving the machines they are playing.
Some of the companies also sell information on their ATM customers to the casinos. All of these data have enabled casinos met specifically target their most reliable spenders, primarily problem gamblers and outright addicts. Met also employ hosts who befriend large spenders and use special offers to encourage them to stay longer or return soon.
Some hosts met bonuses that are tied to the amount customers spend beyond their expected losses, which are calculated using the data games online chaise lounge chairs from previous visits. The business plan for addictiln is based on the addicted gambler. It increased the limits on some slot machines so that she could spend more on single games.
It also made a new machine off-limits to other customers so that Richardson could be the first to play it. Management assigned Richardson an executive host, who offered her free drinks, meals, hotel stays, and tickets to entertainment events. InRichardson, then 54, was sentenced to 14 to 20 years in prison for the crime.
The thefts ultimately put the company out of business. A representative for Ameristar Casino declined to comment on the lawsuit.
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