KANSAS CITY, MO—The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) recently appointed four new members to its board of directors. G. Thomas Baker, president and chief executive officer, International Game Technology (IGT); Glenn Christenson, executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer, Station Casinos, Inc.; Dennis E. Eckart, president and chief executive officer, Greater Cleveland Growth Association; and Kevin P. Mullally, executive director, Missouri Gaming Commission, join the center’s 21-member board, a distinguished group of educators, scientists, health care professionals, civic leaders and gaming industry executives.
"We are truly honored that four such distinguished leaders have agreed to serve on our board," said NCRG Chairman Maj. Gen. Paul A. Harvey (Ret.). "The diverse backgrounds of these new members will lend fresh perspectives in our ongoing mission to combat problem and underage gambling through scientific research. All four of these individuals have demonstrated their strong support for our mission, and their combined experiences will prove invaluable to our efforts."
The NCRG was created by the gaming industry to address problem and youth gambling through the funding of independent research and education. The organization also promotes public awareness of problem and youth gambling through conferences and other programs for researchers, treatment providers, gaming industry personnel and public policy makers. The research funded by NCRG will lead to effective prevention and treatment of problem gambling and has the potential to unravel the mysteries of a whole range of addictive disorders.
Baker, president and chief executive officer of IGT, first joined the company in 1988 as its vice president of finance and chief financial officer. IGT is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of microprocessor-based gaming products and software systems in all jurisdictions where gaming is legal. The company has also been an industry leader in supporting problem gambling research.
Christenson, executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of Station Casinos, replaces Station President and CEO Frank Fertitta III on the NCRG board. Station Casinos has long been an active supporter of research on problem gambling issues.
Eckart, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, represented the Cleveland area as a member of the United States Congress from 1981 to 1993, where he served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Small Business Committee and authored several key legislative initiatives. He joined the Growth Association, the nation’s largest metropolitan chamber of commerce, in 2000.
Mullally, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission, is responsible for overseeing the daily activities of the commission, which include licensing and regulation of riverboat gaming operations and charitable bingo in the state. He is a past president and a member of the Board of the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling and chairman of the North American Gaming Regulators Association Policy Committee.
The NCRG was established in 1996 to address the need for a greater understanding of pathological gambling and related disorders. In five years, the NCRG has transformed the gambling research field by supporting only the highest quality investigations of problem gambling selected through an independent and rigorous peer review process. In 2000, the NCRG awarded a $2.6 million contract to Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addictions to establish the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders to carry out the research initiatives first established by the NCRG.