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Turning On

‘Turning On’ is a record that fizzled and sparked when you put it on your stereo.

It was lively, enigmatic and youthful, and the best bit is that it just seemed to come from nowhere.


We now know that nowhere was the bedroom of eighteen-year-old Dylan Baldi and that it was a record that captured the agitated and accelerative manner that most eighteen-yearolds can only apply to girls or getting drunk.

It was a ramshackle collection (essentially demos) but even under the grain, under the dirt of the fingernails, was glistening and
gleaming pop nuggets of gold.

‘Turning On’ seemed to seamlessly co-exist between these
two outlets and as a result it was utterly charming, scrappy and catchy all in equal abundant share.

The youth it both represented and presented was a vital and much needed
injection that resulted in a genuine sense of excitement and giddiness, and by doing so it had the intended effect,

leaving you feeling young, frivolous and care-free, and for those forty minutes that’s a wonderful feeling to experience. DDW

“All of it was different,” Walter states. “We had to get
all that back in place. From our perspective of just making the
music, we were on point. We had all the music ready but
everything else is important too.

How do you deliver it to people? We can’t control all of
that aspect… The last record we put out was nine/ten years ago
and we had to sort of figure out what’s the best way to put a
record out these days?”

“We had no producer and had to figure everything out ourselves and find the right way for us,” adds Ian. “And it was good to do it like that. It
might have taken an extra year…” “…But it’s a totally
different world,” Walter confirms.

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A Genuine Concern

Native communities have long been plagued with poverty and the chronic disease risk factors that often lead to addiction.

The risk is particularly acute for residents of remote, economically deprived reservations that serve as home to more than 30 percent of indigenous Americans. While the research is limited,

Studies have shown the rate of problem gambling among Native Americans to be two to 16 times higher than non-Indians. Surveys have shown roughly 1-2 percent of the general population suffers from pathological gambling.

A recent survey of Native military veterans also found 10 percent met the criteria for pathological gambling, nearly six times the rate for the general population.

Introducing casino gambling to Indian Country can be problematic for communities plagued by alcohol and substance abuse,

Depression and other risk factors for problem and compulsive gambling.

Yet tribes today operate roughly 508 gambling outlets in 29 states,

Facilities ranging from traffic plazas to gambling resorts, according to the American Gaming Association and National Indian Gaming Commission.

The operations generated $32.4 billion in 2017, according to NIGC.

Tribal leaders are challenged with balancing the benefits of gambling revenues, which provide needed government services to tribal citizens,

With the risks of compounding addiction and other behavioral problems in their communities It stands to reason that many of the 250 casino tribes in the lower 48 states would take a lead role in programs to confront problem and compulsive gambling.

Unlike alcohol, drug abuse and other addictions,

There are no federal agencies assigned to fund and direct programs for problem gambling.

The void has left it up to tribal and state governments, the industry and nonprofits such as NCPG and its affiliates to combat gambling addiction in the U.S. Many programs are funded through provisions of tribal-state regulatory agreements,

Or compacts, required under IGRA in the 29 states with Indian casinos.

Many tribes exceed required contributions with additional donations.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida, owner of Hard Rock International, pays $1.5 million a year to the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling.

The state Department of Mental Health has no problem gambling program.

The 61 California tribes in 2016 paid the state Office of Problem Gaming (OPG) nearly $8.6 million, far more than the state lottery ($130,000) and card rooms ($153,000).

The OPG contracts with the nonprofit state council for helpline, treatment and employee training services.

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GROUPLOVE

When Modest Mouse released ‘Float On’ many thought they’d
found their new favourite, happy-go-lucky indie band, only
to find out that they’d fallen for an outfit with a dark past.


It might be a similar deal with GROUPLOVE of course, but debut
single ‘Colours’ once again suggests that we’ve come across
a band to cheerily bob about to,

gleefully ignoring the warning signs because their pop music is just so sing-a-ble.

Slightly manic as if close to breakdown, singer Christian even sounds
like Isaac Brock, but if GROUPLOVE can remain demon free,
think just how uplifting an album of ‘Float On’s could be.

But it often dregs up the spectre of grizzled
reformations; garish renaissance tours fuelled by commercial
greed;

super groups idly trotting out the line that they
have something to prove other than the ability to meet the
minimum payment on their Amex.


Few bands are arrogant enough to believe they’ll get it
perfect first time but no one wants to hear dead relics
either. When it works perfectly,

we’re left with a spectre and a gnawing sense of conclusion that both thrills and angers at the mere mention of their name; the dormant love re-ignited; a reminder of the power and unrealised potential.

But when that passion is put under needless routine demand, it’s
like any relationship in that respect: you always know when
it’s time to call it a day.

Then again, perhaps I’ve just got commitment issues.

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Luke Morris

Love, Sweat and Science After a lifetime of writing jokes, emerging comedian

“­ e show is funny and fun, with a few facts,” that’s Morris describing Love, Sweat and Science,

his second foray at a headline comedy festival after last year’s raved about performance, ­ e Wine Science Show.

Morris reveals that an explanatory subtitle has been removed.

“Love, Sweat and Science: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Hate Bowerbirds is the full title but

the festival seems to be going with the shorter version,” says Morris in a matter-of-fact tone.

“I talk about bowerbirds because there is a part in the show where I compare people

Tom Cruise and Kanye West and I was comparing them to something that seems nice but when you think about it there is a lot not to like about them,”

Morris joyfully contends. Returning to the ‑ rst part of the shows heading, particularly perspiration,

Morris asks the question ‘Can you stop sweating?’

“I have a disorder called ‘hyperhidrosis’ which translates to that I sweat excessively.

It wasn’t part of last year’s show, but during each performance I would end up talking about it because there was sweat dribbling o my ‑ ngers on stage.

“Every so often after I explained this condition someone in the audience would nod knowingly. From this I realised it was quite common and we all just live with it.

So for this show I thought I would talk about the various ways I minimise sweat in my life,” he laughs. ­

e Wine Science Show was touted by some reviewers as a surprise hit of last year’s festival.

Funnily enough, the positive reception especially surprised Morris, for he never really saw himself as the guy delivering the jokes, more as the one writing them.

Morris reveals that he was bullied a lot at school and writing comedy was a way of dealing with the teasing,

but it wasn’t until three years ago that he got on stage to do stand-up and share the jokes he had been writing.

“I was pretty lonely and unemployed and remote, I guess I was more fed up than anything.

I got on stage because, what else could go wrong? ­ ankfully it went very well.

” Morris now reveals that the comedy community in his hometown of Bendigo played a big part in him getting on stage.

“As I said, I was writing a lot that I would send to newspapers and stu with them occasionally getting published.

I contacted some comedians to do writing for and they responded with ‘we don’t really need you to write for us, but you can get on stage if you want?’

So then I started turning up to open mic nights where I live in Bendigo and people started to laugh.”

“I guess I was more fed up than anything. I got on stage because, what else could go wrong? Thankfully it went very well.”

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Game Changer

Alex White Game Developer, International Game Technology

Alex White reflects the ideal that teamwork makes a dream work.

The game developer for International Game Technology Plc., who split time growing up between Boston, Dallas and Reno, found a perfect outlet for his talent.

White’s creativity, merged with relationship skills and mammoth corporate support, has produced a well-oiled game machine for IGT.

The three-year company veteran authored initial success stories like Golden Eagle and Oceans of Gold.

He puts Elephant King and Wolf Ridge into the mix this year, along with other projects set to premier at Indian Gaming 2017 and G2E. White brings projects from formation to deployment and then has the joy of watching them being played.

“I love connecting with people through a game,” he indicates.

“An interesting part of casino game development unique from other types of game development is that we’re able to observe people interacting with the games we build, because they’re in a regulated environment in a casino. That’s great.”

But no resting upon one’s laurels. White says the best game developers constantly challenge themselves.

“Creativity doesn’t exist in a vacuum— you have to be proactive in searching for things that catch your eye, or evoke a feeling, perhaps like an experience one would get from a film or game, for example,” he says.

“Good game developers know that inspiration can be drawn from many places, and they are skilled in applying those observations to their craft.”

IGT caught, and cultivated, a rising star in Reno. Although individually skilled, White enjoys the group success concept of all project efforts moving together.

“I am most proud of the team that worked on these games,” he says.

“We worked very collaboratively, and one can sense that team camaraderie in the final products.

All aspects of those games feel tightly woven together, resulting in the creation of a cohesive and polished gaming experience “The team here is particularly close. IGT also offers an amazing amount of support.

We’re a global company, and I love that the products we build in Reno, Nevada are played not only in the U.S., but also in Latin America, Australia, Europe, Africa and Asia.”

White got his gaming start at Bob Luciano’s company Sierra Design Group in 1999, working on Washington VLT products and Class II slots, as well as new Class III products.

The experience made an indelible mark on him regarding how companies can foster a strong, productive corporate culture.

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Yuck

“Thanks for coming out to our album launch!” Yuck’s new frontman, Max Bloom, is underselling the evening ever so slightly.

This is less a relaunch than a rebirth for a band that haven’t enjoyed the smoothest of rides towards their sophomore full-length – their old singer, Daniel Blumberg, departed suddenly earlier this year.

A slew of new tracks make the cut tonight, and it was always going to be interesting to observe what’s been retained from Yuck MKI, and what left with Blumberg (the answer to the latter, sadly, is pretty much anything that was endearing about that first, self-titled LP).

‘Yuck’ less wore its influences on its sleeve than had them tattooed on its face, but there was something irresistibly appealing about the way the band managed to bring them all together and repackage them in an impressively punchy, if unoriginal,

manner. These new songs, though, are sadly turgid in their inferiority to the artists they ape.

it does so with little of the Irish outfit’s penchant for sonic density.
Bloom himself, if nothing else, is a far more affable frontman than his predecessor. I wasn’t impressed with Blumberg’s new venture,

Hebronix when I saw him open for Low earlier this year; on tonight’s evidence, perhaps both sides need to think about building some bridges.

The playful concealment certainly adds to his mystery and his allure so far. It’s no secret that Beal struggles with the concept of fame and his need to self-sabotage when things get a little too slick suggests that he
constantly fights an internal battle;

part of him desires to be a full-on somebody and part wishes to revel in being a resolute outsider

‘Wavering Lines’ epitomises this, and while honeyed and even a mite corny on record, it’s delivered with a sloppily loose arrangement and a throat-ripping shout tonight,

as if frustration forces him to sully any layer of sugar that might be on offer.

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Des Bishop

The Comments Section Square one is just an international flight away – just ask Des Bishop.

Although he was raised Stateside, the 43-year-old lived in Ireland for nearly 30 years of his life.

There, he’s a star of stand-up and screen, having been a part of several notable TV shows and selling out countless tours of the country.

“I definitely learned a lot from being back in the clubs, not doing my own shows,” says Bishop.

“I’m not well-known there at all.

Des Bishop It all changed.

All this stuff about social media and dating and interacting with one another… I mean,

all my friends have kids, y’know? It was inspiring and really interesting to be around them, because it challenged me in terms of my own stand-up.

” With this, Bishop began work on his next festival show, titled The Comments Section.

As Bishop has worked more on the show, however, the thematic structure has broadened somewhat.

“It’s funny ± you have to send everything in so far in advance, so the show can change so much by the time you’re actually doing it,” says Bishop.

“If I was writing the description now, I would say that it’s a show about me trying to find the antithesis to the phrase ‘toxic masculinity’.

Even with that said, I’ve definitely kept my shows fairly broad and somewhat random in their execution over the last few years.

It’s definitely traditional stand-up there’s no shame in saying that.”

Bishop considers this an equal and opposite reaction to the way that he would create his festival shows in the past.

In instances like My Dad Was Nearly James Bond and Tongues the latter of which was turned into a memoir in 2011 ± the shows were specifically themed and conceptually structured.

In more recent years, however, Bishop has found a certain liberation in not being bound to a single start-to-finish story.

“Don’t get me wrong, those were all great shows,” he says.

“At the same time, though, it can definitely get very rigid when you’re bound to a single theme.

I find a lot of freedom in being able to get up there and just talk about whatever’s on my mind at the time.”

“I find a lot of freedom in being able to get up there and just talk about whatever’s on my mind at the time.

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Dan Avery

Daniel Avery is a former record store clerk, current Fabric resident and clearly a man of refined taste. And now,

discovered by Erol Alkan and hyped as a next big thing by Andy Weatherall, he’s trying to condense all hisfavourite records into his own debut. Accordingly,

we get ‘Exit Planet Dust’-era Chemicals intermeshed with ‘Rez’-era Underworld Avery ,

among plenty of other nods towards electronic greats, but sadly without the energy or intensity of either.

Avery’s DJ sets are sprawling, trippy affairs, but while his debut has similar aims, the medium lets him down – where he can spend several hours in a club establishing a mesmerising acid house.

with Connan’s eccentric pysch pop. “We’re in Walley Range, but the house is really nice so I just stay inside.”


He laments a time when he was more in touch with nature, in the Sussex town of Lewes and in the vineyards of Te Awanga, where he figures he’d be working were it not for his mother’s encouragement. “You just need
somewhere that’s relaxing, near to an airport and where
it’s nice to go outside. That’s important.”

Connan surfs, too, which suits his tangled, shockblonde beachhead and messianic, stars-aligning whisper.


I’m surprised to hear that he’s never tried meditation, although he imagines it’s a lot like surfing, or playing live – activities that exist wholeheartedly in the present. “When a live show is right, it’s over like that,” he says,
clicking his fingers

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pandmic shutdown

The first casinos to reopen in the U.S. after the pandmic shutdown were tribal properties.

Tribes depend on casino revenue for government services, jobs and other essential needs,

and in many cases took advantage of their status as sovereign nations to reopen before state officials gave the OK.

They did so with an abundance of caution, with the health and safety of their patrons paramount.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain opened its doors at 10 a.m.

May 21, more than two months after it closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’ve seen strong visitation levels given our reduced occupancy protocols,” says President Mark Birtha. “We’ve been very fortunate that our loyal guests have returned.

There is clearly pent-up demand for many in our region, given how long the state has been under a shelter-in-place status.”

Guests enjoy a complete integrated resort experience including gaming, dining, hotel and retail, Birtha says.

“They seem impressed with the amount of investment and training we’ve made in our safety and sanitation protocols.

Most people seem used to these expectations already, so there’s been no pushback or real confusion.

They appreciate our efforts to keep their environment safe.”

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut reopened June

Pokagon’s Four Winds Casinos in Michigan and Indiana reopened June 15. These properties, owned by sovereign nations, are not subject to the laws for commercial casinos like those in Atlantic City or Las Vegas.

Yet all worked with local, state and federal agencies to develop safety measures to reopen.

“Although we are a sovereign nation, we’ve also considered recommendations from the federal government,

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and governors from both Michigan and Indiana,”

says Matthew Wesaw, tribal council chairman and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority.

“We’ve been closely monitoring the data related to the spread of Covid-19,

consulting with medical experts and evaluating the potential impact the virus could have on our community and employees.”

 Common Cooperation Tribal leaders and casino operators as well as regulators coordinate regionally with other tribes in order to share information and best practices to ensure that the entire tribal government gaming industry demonstrates a commitment to safety, says

 Dr. Katherine A. Spilde, professor at the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University,

and endowed chair at the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming.

“Each tribal government is reopening in the way that best protects the health and safety of their community, employees and guests,”

says Spilde. “Certain areas of the U.S. have very different rates of infection based on population density,

public health orders and other factors.

Tribal leaders work closely with other government leaders to coordinate testing, implement social distancing and public health best practices and share information.”

Unlike a traditional business, tribal gaming requires hosting people in tribal homelands, which makes these decisions even more important.

“The reopening of our casinos comes at a critical time for our tribe and our employees that are in need of economic relief,” Wesaw says.

“Unlike state and local governments which predominantly use tax dollars to operate,

the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians relies on revenue from its business ventures to fund services for our citizens,

including health care, housing, education, family services, financial support, police and more.”

The Four Winds Casinos operations team has worked closely with the Pok

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5Questions

Professor Augustine Vinh President and CEO, Stellar Management Corp

Augustine Vinh has over 30 years of professional, technical and management experience in the AsianPacific,

European and West African regions, with a concentration in economic development strategies, management,

Regulatory and institutional reforms, bilateral, multi-lateral project finance and banking finance.

For many years, Vinh has been a senior adviser in Asia for many projects of World Bank, including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Mongolia, Laos and others. He spoke with GGB Publisher Roger Gros from Hanoi in February.

For a full transcript of this interview, visit GGBMagazine.com. GGB: You were the first to report some of the details of the decree on citizens entering casinos.

How long did the government take to research the facts, and how did they do it?

The country’s top leadership commissioned, in June 2013, a confidential research study to look at the possibility of allowing local Vietnamese to enter two designated integrated resorts, one on the Van Don Island,

Ha Long Bay in the north, and the other on Phu Quoc Island in the south.

The positive impacts of the study are the basis for the ruling Communist Party to issue, in September 2016, a decision to allow locals to enter the above two casinos on a three-year trial basis.

Did you play a role in helping the government decide about dropping the locals gambling ban?

I was actively involved in providing the various government agencies with studies, unbiased opinions, comments and inputs to the gaming draft decrees.

I spearheaded the three-year trial proposal for local Vietnamese players and lobbied for its ratification. Where once the government was requiring a $4 billion investment, that has now been adjusted to $2 billion. What is the reason for that change?

The government, in the early stage, probably wanted to replicate the experience of Singapore in attracting major investors for the large-scale gaming projects, which called for an investment of about $4 billion.

After various unsuccessful attempts and after reviews of investors’ recommendations,

the government has decided to lower the initial capital investment to a more reasonable amount of $2 billion.

Each year thousands of local Vietnamese travel to neighboring countries to gamble, taking with them millions of dollars.

By allowing locals to play and by lowering the initial investment amount, the government hopes to create a more attractive investment climate to bring in strategic investors and, in the same time,

allow locals with gaming and entertainment activities to keep their money in the country.

The entrance fee as set by the decree, about $45 per entry and $1,100 for a monthly pass, is reasonable to a lot of local players, considering the betting amounts in local underground gambling dens

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