Independent researchers have concluded that San Diego Charger Junior Seau was suffering from brain damage at the time of his suicide last year. The researches, unaware it was Seau’s brain being studied, believe he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease typically caused by multiple hits to the head.
Over 30 former NFL players have been diagnosed recently with CTE, a condition once known as “punch drunk” because it affected boxers who had taken multiple blows to the head. The NFL is facing lawsuits from 4,000 retired players over its failure to prevent these type of brain injuries in players. The NFL denies the claims, saying it did not know about the dangers of concussions from players and is doing everything it can now to protect them.
Gina Seau, Seau’s ex-wife, said she and her ex-husband expected physical injuries from playing professional football but never thought “you’re putting your brain and your mental health at a greater risk.” Seau was never formally diagnosed with a concussion but routinely complained of symptoms associated with concussions after receiving hits to the head during games and in practices in 20 seasons in the NFL.
“What was found in Junior Seau’s brain was cellular changes consistent with CTE,” said Dr. Russell Lonser, chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Ohio State University, who led the study of Seau’s brain while he was at NIH.
Patients with CTE, which can only be diagnosed after death, display symptoms “such as impulsivity, forgetfulness, depression, [and] sometimes suicidal ideation,” Lonser said.
Seau shot himself in the chest at his home in Oceanside, California in May 2012, leaving behind four children.
A class-action lawsuit against the BC Lottery brought by two British Columbian gamblers is allowed to proceed, according to B.C. Surpreme Court Justice John Savage. The two gamblers (Hamidreza Haghdust and Michael Lee) were enrolled in the Lottery’s voluntary self-exclusion program, a program designed to restrict problem gamblers from BC casinos.
Haghdust and Lee won a total of $77,000 in winnings from the lottery but were unable to collect. The lottery confiscates winnings from those in the self exclusion program to deter participants from trying to sneak in to gamble.
Lee and Haghdust claim the Lottery was negligent in failing to keep them out in the first place. They also argue that the prize confiscation policy was not in place at the time they enrolled in the program. Both signed up in 2006, while the new policy was introduced in April 2009. The Lottery says it advertised and notified patrons of the new rules at that time.
More than 6,000 B.C. residents are enrolled in the voluntary self-exclusion program and participants have been denied entry or removed from casinos more than 36,000 times from 2007-11.
But many banned patrons are believed to gain entry and gamble anyway. Haghdust was caught on several occasions but said he was never clearly told when he was removed that he’d be refused any future winnings if caught again.
A total of 300 jackpot prizes were withheld from ineligible excluded gamblers between 2009 and mid-2012.
Casinos use staff and licence-plate recognition cameras in parking lots to help recognize problem gamblers, resulting in over 4000 gamblers being detected and refused entry into the casinos.
The Nevada State Gaming Control Board has introduced a bill in the Nevada General Assembly that will give the governor the power to enter into interstate gaming agreements with other states, giving Nevada the ability to work with other states to offer online gaming without action from the federal government.
The bill removes language in a previous law that outlawed online gaming licenses until the Department of Justiice approves interactive gaming or until a federal law was passed allowing online gaming. The bill will be considered when the Nevada legistlative session begins on February 4th.
Nevada and Delaware have passed laws allowing intrastate online gaming, a possibility that became feasible when the Department of Justice stated that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting. States previously believed that all activities that involved money being moved over state lines were illegal.
Nevada is now in the position to be the leader in offering interstate gaming. They are the only state to have passed regulations governing online poker, and have a great deal of experience in regulating gambling activities.
The benefits to multi-state gambling compacts are obvious. Because some states may not have enough players in the state to offer interesting games, gaming compacts will allow those states to pool their players, allowing for the possibility of many more players to be online at one time. It will also allow a set standard of rules and regulations for each state rather than forcing each state to develop it’s own rules.
Significant questions still remain, including which agency will be in charge of regulating the interstate pools. While the Nevada Gaming Commission would seem the logical choice, many states might be hesitent to give that much power to an out of state agency.