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Inside Gaming: Fundraising Efforts for Las Vegas Victims Produce Huge Response

Las Vegas strip
  • The industry and others respond to fundraising efforts to help victims of the Las Vegas shootings.

  • Many in gaming industry and others respond to fundraising campaigns to help victims of LV shootings.

This week's Inside Gaming includes an update on the overwhelming response to fundraising efforts to help those affected by Sunday night's Las Vegas shootings, shares news of the recently-ended Global Gaming Expo, and reports the ratification of a gaming compact in California.

GoFundMe Campaign for Las Vegas Victims Raises More Than $9.7M Thus Far

Among the many responses to Sunday night's horrific shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas was the creation of a GoFundMe account to raise money for the victims and families of the attack.

A Las Vegas Victims' Fund page was started on GoFundMe on Monday morning by Steve Sisolak, member and current chairman of the Clark County Commission. Sisolak began the campaign with a $10,000 donation, and an initial goal was set at $500,000.

Within two days the amount donated already exceeded $8 million, with the figure now over $9.7 million from more than 79,000 donations. A recent update has set a new goal of $15 million for the campaign.

The initial description on the GoFundMe page noted that "funds will be used to provide relief and financial support to the victims and families of the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting."

An update shares plans this week to announce more about the process for distributing funds: "We are working in lockstep with all state and local officials, GoFundMe, the Direct Impact Fund, and the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) to ensure the funds get distributed directly to the victims and families."

According to CNN, the previous highest amount collected for a GoFundMe campaign was $7.85 million to support victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida last June 2016.

GoFundMe is a for-profit crowdfunding platform first launched in 2010 that enables and coordinates fundraising for a wide variety of causes. While the site regularly takes 7.9 percent plus a fee of 30 cents per donation, the page explains "GoFundMe has committed significant resources to the management and distribution of these funds in the most ethical, effective, and timely way, and they have also donated $150,000 to directly help victims and their families." The Las Vegas Victims' Fund GoFundMe page can be found here.

Several other examples of fundraising have also been reported, including many pledges of support from the gaming industry. MGM Resorts is donating $3 million to help victims and their families, and the Las Vegas Sands Corporation is donating $4 million, reports KRQE, who add that Station Casinos, Zappo's, and the UFC have each pledged $1 million as well.

Global Gaming Expo 2017 Attracts Thousands from Industry

The annual Global Gaming Expo — or G2E — took place this week at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Topics covered in the conference's many sessions and keynotes included much about increasing the effectiveness of cybersecurity, the growth and development of online gaming, mobile sports betting, skill-based games, as well as strategies for catering to younger "millenials."

As Jeffrey Compton writes for CDC Gaming Reports this morning, one unavoidable theme for the conference in the wake of Sunday's tragedy was that "Las Vegas will go on. The gaming industry will go on."

Keynote speakers throughout the week necessarily addressed Sunday night's shooting and the city's response, starting with Monday's address by Frances F. Townsend, former Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Advisor for President George W. Bush.

Townsend's remarks focused in particular on challenges faced by women in the gaming industry. Then on Tuesday American Gaming Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman and former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis directly addressed the city and industry coming together and responding to the crisis.

On Wednesday Stephen King, CEO of Dave & Buster's Entertainment, spoke of his own company's growth and the idea of casinos providing an "integrated resort experience" via high-volume entertainment and dining. Then on yesterday's final day of G2E former NBA legend and entrepreneur Earvin "Magic" Johnson discussed how he was able to transfer winning strategies as a player to succcess in the business world.

Compton's review of the conference and the organization of it largely directed by the AGA is favorable, summarizing advertisers and exhibitors as having been "more than pleased with both the quantity and quality of the attendees."

California Ratifies New Compact With Tule River Tribe

On Tuesday Governor Jerry Brown Jr. signed a bill ratifying a new Class III compact between the state of California and the Tule River Indian Tribe allowing the tribe to continue to operate its Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville for another 20 years, reports The Porterville Recorder.

The casino on the tribe's reservation located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains first opened two decades ago, with the tribe's previous compact regarding the facility having been due to end in 2020. The new compact was agreed upon in early September, with this week's actions making it official.

The legislation was unanimously approved by both the state's Assembly and Senate prior to Brown's signing of the bill.

In addition to extending the compact's "sunset" or termination date, it makes some technical revisions to bring it in line with other current compacts. It also modifies the tribe's contributions to a Special Distribution Fund designed "to help mitigate local impacts" of casinos.

"The Tule River Tribe believes that the revised compact will be a great benefit to the Tribe, its members, the City of Porterville and the County of Tulare," said Tule River Tribal Council Chairman Neil Peyron.

Meanwhile the tribe's plans continue to relocate the casino to a new property closer ot the Porterville Municipal Airport. The new property will cover 105,000-square-feet and include a 250-room hotel. If the relocation is approved, the tribe will need to have the compact with the state reapproved by the governor to reflect the new location.

Photo: "Las_Vegas_Strip_Cosmopolitan_Planet_Hollywood_MGM" (adapted), Las Vegas Blog, CC BY-ND 2.0.

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