Daily Archives: December 24, 2019

Seasteading | Ocean Builders

Posted: December 24, 2019 at 10:47 am

Seasteadingis the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea, called seasteads, outside the territory claimed by any government. The term is a combination of the wordsseaand homesteading.

Modern seasteading began around 2008 when Patri Friedman began highlighting his idea in Silicon Valley to build seastead communities where you could essentially vote with your home. This would allow for more experimentation in governance structures and advance governance in the same way that cell phones progress due to consumers having the ability to choose their cell phone.

Initially Patri teamed up with Peter Thiel to found The Seasteading Institute (TSI). With Mr. Thiels initial donation TSI began exploring ways to make seasteading happen. They did many studies, held contests for various designs and branched off different projects. The plans have usually revolved around building large cities which were very costly and were never able to obtain the financing necessary to get off the ground.

Early designs mainly used oil rigs as inspiration working toward building structures high above the waves. Then around 2012 the idea was put forward to do a phased approach of building in a protected waterway of a host nation under a special economic zone as a Phase 1 approach. This would be followed by Phase 2 where the seastead is moved 12 nautical miles out into the ocean where the seastead could enjoy relative sovereignty (barring oil and mineral rights). The third and final phase would be to move out into the open ocean 200 nm out to sea in international waters.

The phased approach would take decades and is currently being pursued by Blue Frontiers. They are working on getting permission from French Polynesia and have several other countries in the works.

We are taking a different approach with the spar design, taking our inspiration from oil rigs, pursuing the initial idea of being able to vote with your house.

There have been many people working in many different ways to get seasteading moving forward and we hope to include as many people in this wonderful endeavor as possible. It is our hope that our first seastead sends a message to the rest of the world that seasteading is finally happening and that they should come to our seastead to put their ideas into action.

I know that by now you are probably wondering about the waves. You really want to know about the waves right? If so, then move along to the next section to find out how we plan to deal with the waves.

What about the waves!?!

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What It Was Like Growing Up With Cerebral Palsy in the 1960s – Yahoo Lifestyle

Posted: at 10:45 am

In the midst of tremendous cultural shifts during the 1960s, I was a youngster often recovering from experimental surgeries and struggling to understand why I was different. On my familys 12-inch black and white TV I witnessed people gathered together speaking out against injustices surrounding race, gender, sexual orientation and class struggles. But I didnt see people like me displayed on the evening news.

Since the late 1800s, most people born with disabilitiesin Europe and the United States were properly shunned housed in institutions. Such facilities were for the most part located on undeveloped parcels of land and rarely seen by local residents. They were out of sight, out of mind. Individuals many placed as babies were put away under the guise of it being for their own good and the good of society and regarded as second-class citizens. Many with physical disabilities acquired cognitive delays due to lack of environmental stimulation. Societal attitudes propelled a sub-standard segregated life and furthered stigmatization.

Related: 8 Reasons Why Cerebral Palsy Is My Best Christmas Gift

World War II had ended two decades earlier and remained in the worlds rearview mirror. Millions of Jews and others were murdered in the name of eugenics, an attempt to create superior humans in a twisted misinterpretation of Darwins survival of the fittest. The others included people living in private and state-operated institutions, identifiedunder Nazi policies as life unworthy of life. Individuals with congenital, cognitive and physical disabilities (including people termed in the 20th century as feebleminded people with mental illness, epilepsy, deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy) for elimination from the chain of heredity.

My young self was ignorant of these horrid events and yet mindful of others perceptions. My pre-school-aged memories are filled with Why do you talk that way? or How come you walk funny? comments I heard whenever I stepped out my front door and into the world.

A stiff upper lip persona took shape inside of me. My childhood naivet vanished like smoke from an extinguished candles wick. Adults interrogated my mom with similar questions. They spoke over me as if I wasnt there. Moms attempt to shield her baby girl against implicit discrimination often failed. She made valiant efforts to protect me from the perpetual dreaded question, Whats wrong with you? dipped in a thick ooh. It reeked with flashing red lights. There was no mistaking the underlying message. You dont belong. I didnt belong. Strangers stares and words cloaked me in shame.

Related: To the Person Ashamed to Use Tools to Help Their Disability

I have cereba paly, I replied, delivered with a meek smile. I know, I tal funny. I ound illy. I followed it with my trademark snicker. If I can make them laugh, they will feel some ease and know that Im fully aware. It gave me a slightly opened door to enter, a chance to connect. How I longed to belong.

In addition to receiving instruction and therapies (presently known as early intervention), my special school provided a sense of belonging. I shared an incomprehensible bond with my classmates. Different. The politest label people beyond the schools grounds considered us.

Kids who were not my classmates laughed when they met me. Shouts of retarded or Frankenstein often hit my ears. Their words power shook my already precarious balance. Frankenstein referenced my walk. I walked with my arms held up towards the sides of my chest. My hands pointed towards the ground. This stance assisted with balance as I staggered on tip-toes turned inward. Oh, how I longed to be like everyone else.

Related: 8 Tips for Managing Your Menstrual Cycle With Cerebral Palsy

By first grade I had decided my experiences at the other end of strangers voyeuristic looks and labels werent worth sharing with Mom and Dad. The fear on their faces when expressing such encounters pierced me. Dads fear disguised behind familiar splashes of disgust reinforced the ridicule I felt. Mom, on the other hand, delivered a well-pat response. Some people are ignorant, Jen. Your purpose in life is to educate them. Her strong words clung to my brain. These words developed into my lifes mantra.

On a ride home from school one day, my bus idled at a busy intersection. A mother and her young daughter caught my eye at the corner gas station. The girl appeared to be 5 or 6 years old close to my age. They giggled as they ran around their car. My onlooker smile turned to tears before the green light signaled the bus driver to proceed. I yearned to run carefree, to play without hearing Dads voice with or without him present saying, Be careful, Jen. Youre going to fall.

Our school bus rolled forward and struggled into gear. I strained my neck to retain the girl and her mother in my sight. What are you looking at? the boy seated behind me snickered, laughing as he noticed the tears streaming down my cheeks. Why are you crying?

Its nothin. I turned away in embarrassment.

Where do I fit? ran through my mind. That is my first memory of attempting to process being different as Mom said. To Moms credit, different was a palliative term. I never heard disability throughout childhood. The word was not a part of the societal vocabulary. Crippled, impaired, handicapped and retarded graced our countrys vernacular, on the rare occasions such discussions occurred at all.

Throughout the 1960s and into the 70s, our culture gave little thought, let alone consideration to persons with disabilities. Segregation of children and adults with disabilities continued. For those not living in institutions like me, buses drove us each weekday far from our homes and the neighborhood schools we wished to attend.

Up with a stuffy nose one night, I snuggled with Mom on our couch. The lights were off and the TVs volume was set low so as not to disturb Dads sleep.

Who tat? I sprang from a near sleep.

Oh. Thats Ironside.

Ironide? What his name? My interest peaked as I raised my head from Moms chest. They let him be a cop?

Hes a detective. She seemed unaware of my questions motivation.

Wow! Deteive. What happen to em?

Happened to him? She whispered in a thicker-than-usual Kentucky accent from nearing sleep.

Why he in a wheelchai?

Oh! Mom shook awake from her respite. Somebody shot em. He cant walk no more. She whispered.

He coul wak before? Tat ad. I was struggling to whisper so as not to wake Dad. I hoped my words had reached Moms ear.

Yeah, its sad. But remember, Jen. TVs not real. Its actin.

Oh, yeah. So he can wal in eal life. ight?

Yeah. His real names Raymond Burr.

In my 5-year-olds wonderment, I thought only kids were different. Raymond Burr on Ironside was the first adult I ever saw who was different. My excitement to learn more about the man on the screen and the budding identity of me taking root gave way to the nights silence.

6 Lessons 'Margarita With a Straw' Can Teach Us About Disability

8 Great Gifts for People With Cerebral Palsy

How We Can Improve Disability Inclusion in Schools

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Motherhood Has Never Been More Complicated Heres How to Simplify It – SheKnows

Posted: at 10:45 am

Parenting in 2019 often feels very confusing in this way. Every decision can be met with second guessing,anxiety, ambivalence, and a large online community of people who will either affirm or reject whatever it is that youre doing. Sometimes, youdont even know that what youre doing is wrong, and you may be told that there is no way to repair the damage youvedone, and guess what? You still have 18 years left of raising that kid youve already ruined with your poor decision-making. Good luck with that.

A new book written by two academics looks at the many complexities of present day parenting and exposes some of the different (and similar) approaches society took to moms in earlier times. In Youre Doing It Wrong!: Mothering, Media, and Medical Expertise, authors Margaret M. Quinlan and Bethany Johnson detail all of the ways we are flooded with mixed messages about parenting today, and how to navigate this messy terrain to find the voices that will really help.

In a phone interview with SheKnows, Quinlan, a mother of two, related to my feelings of constant maternal bewilderment. You cant blame us for constantly stressing about the ways in which we may be failing our kids. Theso-called village has all but disappeared for most people, so every day, Im at home alone with my son. In place ofthe villagehas come the internet, which can be an incredibly helpful resource but also create more confusion and chaos by spreading false information. For example, the growth of anti-vaccine sentiment in recent years has been linked to measles outbreaks, an illnesspreviously thought to have been wiped outin our country.

Moms nowadays are often left to their own devices after birth, as if its not bad enough thatthe U.S. has the highest maternal death rateof any developed country. Maternal mortality iseven higher for women of color. Black mothers arethree to four times more likely to diethan white mothers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A2018 studyfrom the University of Illinois at Chicago found thatheart disease is a leading cause of maternal deathin the U.S., and another study published earlier this year found thatsuicide and drug overdoses are leading causes of death in new mothers.

In researching for her book, Quinlan found that many new mothers were better cared for a hundred years ago than they are now. Doctors made house visits to see new babies rather than ask moms to haul their newborns into crowded, germ-infested offices.

We were able to figure out how to better support immigrant women in Boston in the 1900s better than were able to do it today in a lot of ways, Quinlan, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, said. People came to your house and it was free whereas most of us are alone and fathers are back at work.

For many women, itsthe pediatrician who noticesthat mom is not okay. At the same time, the pediatrician only treats kids, and its not easy for moms to manage their own health issues when they must care for a child 24/7.

When you go to the pediatrician and ask about [yourself], they say, youre not my patient, and you then have to go to a lactation consultant and call all these people [all] while youre baby is screaming, Quinlan continued.

The internet also allows us tocompare ourselves to other momsand question our own parenting abilities along the way. It can be easy to look at apopular influencers Instagram pageand think she has motherhood and life figured out, especially if she has tens of thousands of followers, major sponsors paying her, and gorgeous backdrops for all the photos of her and her beautiful children. Quinlan says that while she admires people who have been able to do this, she recognizes that this does not represent her world or the reality for most moms.

My life is never going to look like that, she said. Ive never had a picture of me and my family going through a field. We justdont have the money for a photographer and its not my reality.

All this comparing can lead to feelings of doing it wrong, and while this might seem like a relatively new phenomenon on social media, its deeply rooted in the parenting experience. Quinlan explained to SheKnows by phone that the past looks a lot more like the present than we all may realize. In the early 1900s, many people in the U.S.competed in Better Baby contestsin thespirit of eugenics. Thankfully, competition among babies plays out in a much different and less harmless way today. Instead, we see other peoples babies walking or talking early on social media and ask ourselves, Gee, my baby is that age. Why isnt he doing any of these things yet?!

Quinlan, who shared that her son is having some issues with food that has warranted visits to various experts, said its important not to frame everything as a choice or fault moms for not doing research on whatever issues they may be facing.

Lets not assume that everyone is able to read peer-reviewed journal articles, not that theydont want to, but even Idont have time to read some of the stuff Im going through with my son, I am just surviving, she said.

This is whereProfessor Emily Ostercomes in. Oster, a popular academic figure among moms online, has made a name for herself analyzing research on child rearing and pregnancy to help mothers make informed decisions about parenting. Quinlan agrees that Oster provides a wealth of information for mothers who may not know how to sift through the many conflicting studies and pieces of research they stumble upon in search ofanswers on parenting: will breastfeeding really make my child smarter? How dangerous is co-sleeping? Will allowing my child to cry it out scar him/her for life?

Oster isnt the only person online who can help new moms figure out what works best for their families. Quinlan noted the existence of internet fertility support groups, which for many women are a significantly more affordable option than fertility treatment. Women in these groups can check in with each other during the two-week wait, the time period from ovulation to when someone would get an accurate pregnancy test result.

In the fertility research wevedone, weve found some really amazing community in Instagram, people following up on each other during the two-week wait, people willing to fill in the social support gap of people who arent sharing with their families, she said.

Internet-based mom groups are also good options for someone who might not be able to pay dues for groups that meet in person, get their newborn out of the house, or ditch work for meetups.

A lot of people are posting at 3 a.m. to Facebook because theyre scared, theyre alone, theyre trying to decide, OK, this is a $300 copay. If I go to the ER in the middle of the night, it could end up being thousands. Should I wait until 9 a.m. when the doctors office opens and pay a lower amount? Quinlan said. Instead of shaming them [for not going to the ER right away], say what can I do to help you? What can I do to support you? Idont know whats happening in that rash picture [you shared on Facebook], but can I Venmo you $5 for a coffee because tomorrow is going to be a long day? What can we be doing to support each other in these crises and not shaming each other?

With social media and the internet, its easier now more than ever to find what youre looking for online, whether its a thyroid support group or a niche community that celebrates your favorite parenting style. It can be overwhelming digging through everything in between, but discovering a community that best suits your needs might make parenting feel a lot less daunting, and remind you that so many people are in the same boat. Quinlan told SheKnows that she learned more from some of these online groups than shed find in the pages of more traditional sources.

Some of these things are harder to find in medical textbooks or some of the pregnancy books, she said. I think theres a lot of space for a lot of people who have a lot of different experiences, and we need to talk about what those look like.

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Scandal of The Tinker Experiment: demands for apology over Scotland’s treatment of gypsy travellers – HeraldScotland

Posted: at 10:45 am

THEY are small huts, scattered across the country, which appear on the outside to be fairly unassuming

But behind the walls of the barely habitable dwellings lay the truth of a bizarre experiment that saw Scottish authorities attempt to control a distinct racial group in a bid to get them to integrate into mainstream society.

Known as the "Tinker Experiment", it saw members of the travelling community placed in specially provided huts, far from the rest of society, in a bid to break them into joining the rest of the population and effectively kill off their culture.

Remarkably, most of these sites only closed in the 1980s, but one in Pitlochry remained in use only a decade ago.

READ MORE:Gypsy Travellers: Scotland's human rights shame

Now members of the travelling community are demanding an official apology from the Scottish Government for what they call Scotland's secret shame, and they're planning a protest at Holyrood next month.

They are angry that other sections of society have received apologies for historically poor treatment from the state while they still wait, despite it being illegal to discriminate against gypsy travellers on grounds of race since the Equality Act of 2010.

Shamus McPhee, who was a subject of the experiment at Bobbin Mill, Pitlochry, pointed out that each reason the Scottish Government had given why it couldn't apologise for the Tinker Experiment could be rebutted through a previous apology to another distinct group.

He said the Government had in the past said it was unable to apologise for the actions of a previous government, ignoring an unreserved apologise to the gay community. On another occasion, he said, it claimed claimed it couldn't apologise for local government initiatives or the actions of public bodies but apologised for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Mr McPhee said another government defence had been that it couldn't offer apologies for events which predated devolution, but that that overlooked an apology to those affected by the contaminated blood scandals of the 1980s and 1990s.

He said: "A programme of eugenics saw Gypsy Travellers separated out on racial grounds for removal from Scottish society. This marked a top-down, concerted approach, designed to eradicate a specific group of people.

"I think that quite a striking analogy can be drawn between our treatment, almost colonial in aspect, especially the level of subsequent denial, and that of the aboriginal people in Australia. The extent of that institutional racism is most clearly illuminated in the response from central government in Scotland, which has been described as 'wilful blindness' on the part of the ruling elite."

READ MORE:Scotland needs to do better for Gypsy/Travellers

His sister Roseanna adds: "Although the authorities said it was a housing experiment it was actually a racial experiment, it was a form of eugenics because nobody could be put in the houses unless they were what they called a 'tinker'.

"There was no one from mainstream society who was put there and we were kept away from that mainstream. These houses were specifically designed to ease the tinker problem."

The genesis of what became known as the Tinker Experiment in private government circles began just over a century ago. In a deputation to the Secretary of Scotland in 1917, it was claimed that "with kindly treatment, tinkers could be reclaimed and brought into line with ordinary civilisation".

The chair of the Department of Tinkers in Scotland, the Duchess of Atholl, asked for a Scotland-wide census on the numbers and social make-up of these communities.

This was an attempt to measure what was called at the time in the press as the "Tinker Problem", and then solve this problem by assimilating travellers into mainstream Scottish society by threatening to remove their children into care.

By forcing them to send their children to school for a set number of days, the gypsy families would have to settle in permanent accommodation as governments and local authorities recognised that the families had a close bond with their children.

Due to the secretive nature of the plan, exact figures have been hard to come by, but it is believed that thousands of individuals were forced to exist in properties with no hot water, electricity or proper washing facilities.

Those who refused had their children taken into care.

Throughout the 20th century huts to house travellers were built in at least 10 different locations across Scotland.

These included the Bridge of Don barracks in Aberdeen, Red Rocks in Inverness-shire and Muir of Ord on the edge of the Black Isle.

These sites were basic by design with minimum living facilities and were closely supervised by the authorities.

On the Muir of Ord site, the idea "was to train the tinker how to live in a house, instead of in sheds, old buses and under canvas which would give them a better chance in life".

In Perthshire alone, 35 traveller families were housed in substandard huts, many unaware that they were part of a racial experiment.

Perthshire Council initially bought a former WWII prisoner of war hut to be used as housing for four gypsy families.

In a letter from 1945 concerning the creation of the property, the council ignored bylaws for minimum standards of housing, instead applying regulations intended for tents, vans or sheds.

The huts were deliberately substandard to encourage travelling families to quickly move into mainstream accommodation and so be assimilated into Scottish society, reasoning no-one would put up with the property for more than three years.

However, this assimilation was difficult as many gypsies felt they couldn't practise their own culture living in a council estate isolated from their own community.

Those affected have repeatedly asked the Scottish Government for an apology, but without success.

Most of these sites closed in the 1980s but one in Pitlochry remained in use only a decade ago.

The Bobbin Mill huts were partitioned with asbestos-coated wood into four sections for different families to occupy.

Each hut consisted of one bedroom and a toilet and cold water sink. It had no electricity and accommodated up to 10 family members.

Yet according to resident Alexander Johnstone, who lived there from the 1960s, the poor conditions were despite the fact there was ready access to utilities. "Even though there was a gas tank nearby and a house over the back that had electricity only about 30 metres away, they wouldn't install it for some reason.

"I never saw a council person the whole time I was there, and if anything was broken we just had to fix it ourselves."

The building was condemned as unfit for human habitation in 1962 yet the council continued to place families there throughout the decade.

Many former residents believe that their recurring health problems today stem from the asbestos dust and freezing conditions of their childhood home.

Roseanna McPhee recalls a locum doctor who had previously worked in South Africa making a house call.

She said: "He compared the huts to Soweto. If you didn't just get on with living in the bad conditions and thole it, the children would be taken into care."

Even if the families did suffer in silence, their children were still at risk of being removed.

Jessie McPhee's family were also occupants, but she and her twin brother Robert were taken into care in 1956 at birth as the local council decided there was not enough room to accommodate any more children in the family of 12.

She believes her parents simply accepted the authorities' decision out of fear that all of their children would be taken away from them.

Jessie returned to the family home to start primary school, but Robert was placed in a boarding school because of his behaviour. He kept running away from the home because of the treatment he received there, coming from a minority group. She is convinced Robert, who died 20 years ago, never recovered from the double rejection.

She said: "He felt he had been rejected twice, by my parents when he was taken into the children's home and then by the boarding school. He was an alcoholic who drank himself to death because he couldn't accept what had happened to him."

The experiment in assimilation failed as the children were mercilessly bullied at the local primary and secondary school and then became stigmatised because of their sub-human housing, which affected their chances of forming relationships outside those in the same situation.

Roseanna explains: "You couldn't assimilate. If you went out with someone from the wider community and they found out you were from the hut, you never saw them again.

"People could accept you were a traveller or a gypsy but they couldn't accept that you were living in these appalling conditions they couldn't understand that you didn't want to be there they didn't understand that you were put there."

When asked about the Tinker Experiment, the Scottish Government acknowledged the treatment the travellers had received and the impact it had on them, but again stopped short of an apology.

READ MORE:It needs guts to take the road less travelled. And for Gypsies, that means protecting their children from the outside world. But at what cost?

A spokesperson told The Herald on Sunday: The lives of many gypsy travellers have been blighted by the historical housing polices of councils and charities. We absolutely recognise the devastating impact which these polices had on families, many of whom are still suffering the consequences.

A joint Scottish Government and Cosla 3 million action plan to tackle the discrimination and challenges faced by the gypsy/traveller community was published in October.

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Pope Francis Tells Students How Not To Convert Unbelievers – The Daily Wire

Posted: at 10:45 am

This weekend, Pope Francis spoke to Catholic high school students about how to reach nonbelievers, stressing that Christians should live their faith out loud rather than trying to try to coerce people to convert, invoking the crusades as a time of great shame.

In front of an unbeliever, the last thing I have to do is try to convince him. Never. The last thing I have to do is speak, the pontiff said,according to Disrn.Instead, he stressed, I have to live consistent with my faith. And it will be my testimony to awaken the curiosity of the other who says: But why do you do this? And yes, I can speak then.

Never, never bring the gospel by proselytizing, he said later. If someone says they are a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, they are not a disciple of Jesus.

Pope Francis invoked the crusades and conversion by the sword, calling it shameful and noting that Christians across the globe are similarly wrongly killed for their faith.

We are not in the times of the crusades, he said. Either the baptism or the sword. This has happened in history! They also do it with us Christians in other parts, they are also doing it but what we did was shameful because it is a story of forced conversion, of not respecting the dignity of the person.

The Holy Father said he first learned of the principle of coexistenceback in Argentina, amid mass migration.

There is a mixture of blood, a strong mixed race in Argentina I am the son of a migrant, and this has made a culture of coexistence, he explained. I went to public school and we always had companions from other religions. We were educated to coexist: There is a Jew, Russian, ah come, come! I am a friend of Russian! They said Russian because the majority of the Jews came from Odessa, some from Poland but the majority from Odessa. Then there were some Arabs, Lebanese, Syrians Ah, Turkish! Come, come! This was Muslim, this was Jewish. But we all played football together, we were all friends.

This has taught me so much, that we are all the same, all children of God and this purifies your gaze, it makes you human, Pope Francis said. In Argentina there is a small group of closed-minded Catholics who do not want Jews, do not want Muslims, but this group I have never liked it, is a group that is on the fringe, they have a cultural magazine but they do not have impact in society.

But listen: Never, never bring the gospel by proselytizing. If someone says they are a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, they are not a disciple of Jesus, the pontiff said.

Pope Francis has repeatedly focused on the dignity of each human life. Last summer, for example, the pope compared aborting children for birth defects to Nazi eugenics. The Daily Wire reported:

I have heard that its fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: lets send it away, the Pope said, according to CNN, which appeared shocked by the news that the Pope is, indeed, a faithful member of the Catholic Church and opposed to the practice of abortion which the Church believes ends a human life.

I say this with pain. In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today we do the same, but now with white gloves, he continued.

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UK gambling-related hospital admissions up to more than one a day – The Guardian

Posted: at 10:44 am

Gambling-related admissions to hospital have reached more than one a day, as the health service grapples with betting addiction across Britain.

There were 379 such admissions to hospital in 2018/19, up 28% on 2015/16, according to NHS Digital figures that include those diagnosed as having a pathological gambling addiction.

Gambling disorder is linked to compulsive behaviour, the risk of self-harm and substance misuse. It also occurs in conjunction with serious mental health difficulties, such as depression, anxiety and psychosis.

The north-west had the greatest number of admissions over the past year, followed by London. About a sixth of those admitted to hospital across England, Scotland and Wales were under 25 but it was unclear how many were children.

The number of children classed as having a gambling problem is 55,000, while 450,000 under-18s bet regularly, according to industry regulator the Gambling Commission.

Last week, the Royal Society for Public Health warned that betting-style features in video games, including loot boxes, are polluting young peoples lives and should be reclassified as gambling.

Gambling disorder significantly impacts on a persons mental health, increasing the risk of self harm and suicide, said Matt Zarb-Cousin from gambling blocking software firm Gamban.

Were now at the point where more than one person every day in Britain has to be admitted to hospital as a result of gambling. Its time to look properly at the types of gambling available and their role in causing such severe harm to people.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said earlier this year: The links between problem gambling and stress, depression and mental health problems are growing and there are too many stories of lives lost and families destroyed.

He added: This is an industry that splashes 1.5bn on marketing and advertising campaigns, much of it now pumped out online and through social media, but it has been spending just a fraction of that helping customers and their families deal with the direct consequences of addiction.

The NHS opened the National Problem Gambling Clinic in London this year to provide young people specialist help to deal with betting addiction as part of an expansion of its treatment offering in the area.

The figures do not include patients who were diagnosed in a primary care setting, or who attended hospital as an outpatient.

The World Health Organization first recognised gambling disorder as a medical condition in 2000. In the UK, there are about 340,000 adult problem gamblers, 0.7% of the population, according to the Gambling Commission.

Bookmakers have closed dozens of shops on high streets and are increasingly pushing customers towards online betting, after stakes on fixed-odd betting terminals described as the crack cocaine of gambling were limited to 2 this year.

The gambling industry in the UK made 14.4bn in 2018/19 and Denise Coates, the multibillionaire founder of the gambling company Bet365, paid herself 323m last year.

More than half of people aged 16 or older in England gambled at some point during 2018, according to official figures.

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‘In 2019, Spain’s gambling authority developed and planned several groundbreaking projects from a global perspective’ – Yogonet International

Posted: at 10:44 am


elegates of the Direccin General de Ordenacin del Juego (DGOJ)the Spains gambling authority told Yogonet that 2019 was marked by political turmoil in the European country. General elections were held in April and, having reached no agreement for the creation of a new government, there were elections once again in November. This situation, together with the dissolution of the Cortes Generales the Spanish parliament have largely hindered regulatory progress throughout the public administration in Spain. However, DGOJ officials claim plenty of activities were developed this year, and that they consider 2019 as a highly productive year in many aspects.

As regards responsible gambling, the DGOJ renovated and redefined the Responsible Gaming Council, made up of four sections: Science, Players Protection, Society and Gambling, and Assistance, which are aimed at covering the different topics of the projects developed by the Council. Moreover, two programs were launched: the Responsible Gambling Program of the DGOJ 2019-2022 and the Development Program for Responsible Gambling 2019-2020, which works on top-priority projects.

In an attempt to boost new technologies and online gambling, the DGOJ rolled out a Development Kit to help use the DNIe a Spanish electronic identity document in mobile devices. Moreover, the first edition of the Regtech egambling international workshop took place and was attended by over 200 visitors, including regulators, operators, companies, and associations, among others. Many technology solutions were showcased there, which help users solve some of the issues within the gambling and betting segments (such as those related to identity verification, onboarding processes, fraud prevention solutions, artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning, all of them applied to responsible gambling).

The regulator also highlighted the development of institutional relationships carried out during the last twelve months, as DGOJ officials took part in different industry-related events, including the VI Iberoamerican Gaming Summit (Lima, Peru), Juegos Miami (Miami, USA), IAGA Gaming Summit 2019 (San Francisco, USA), World Gaming executive summit 2019 (Barcelona, Spain), and Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy (Oxford, Reino Unido), among others.

Moreover, the DGOJ carried out several campaigns aimed at raising awareness over sports integrity, children protection, and the risks carried by sports betting. The DGOJ also signed new agreements and extended existing deals, including a cooperation agreement with the Spanish tax agency to strengthen data exchanges among booth entities.

Finally, in spite of the difficult legislative scenario, progress was made in the regulatory field, which included the creation of a National Committee for sports integrity and match-fixing prevention, a resolution which prevents the operation of sports betting in events with minors involved, and most recently, guidelines for the drafting of agreements which are subject to the award of government licenses.

"To conclude, we could say that in 2019, the DGOJ has strengthened its position as a regulator through not only its ordinary course of business but also through a proactive attitude which has helped the entity develop and plan several groundbreaking projects from a global perspective."

Ever since the enactment of Law 13/2011, websites operated by entities which do not have the relevant authorizations must stop offering betting services within the Spanish territory. In order to identify possible breaches of that law, the DGOJ carries out efforts that are channeled into three different categories: prevention, detection of illegal websites and the ordering of inspection and punitive procedures.

The illegal gambling prevention vertical is based basically on collaborative agreements with advertising suppliers and gaming operators which are aimed at preventing advertising companies from offering their services to operators who do not hold the relevant permits. Moreover, the gaming offering is constantly monitored as well as the number of illegal websites operating in Spain. Since 2012, the DGOJ has managed to close 1390 sites that were operating illegally.

DGOJ officials claim the entity plays a fundamental role in the development of a feasible and sustainable market both from a growth perspective and a social acceptance standpoint. "We want the whole society to consider gambling as an activity that protects the health and the economy of its participants, especially those from vulnerable groups, as well as an ally in the detection of and fight against illegal or fraudulent activities," they concluded.

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'In 2019, Spain's gambling authority developed and planned several groundbreaking projects from a global perspective' - Yogonet International

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Taxation of Gambling Income – The CPA Journal

Posted: at 10:44 am

Thanks to legalized sports gambling, U.S. casinos generated a record amount of gaming revenue in 2018. As might be expected, it is becoming increasingly common for individuals to have questions regarding the taxation of gambling income and losses, and these questions will almost certainly be more complex if the individual is a professional gambler. This article aims to help CPAs answer these questions for taxpayers.

Gambling winnings are fully taxable and must be reported by individuals as income on their tax returns regardless of the size of the winnings. Gambling income includes, but is not limited to, winnings from casino gambling (e.g., slots, blackjack, craps, roulette), lotteries, raffles, and horse and dog races. Noncash prizes such as cars and trips are normally includible in gross income at the fair market value of such prizes.

If the individuals gambling winnings exceed a certain threshold ($600, or 300 times the amount of the wager for most types of gambling winnings), the individual will usually be issued a Form W-2G from the gambling establishment reporting the income and the amount of withholding of taxes. The gambling establishment will also send a corresponding Form W-2G to the IRS.

Gambling winnings and losses are determined on a session basis rather than a per-bet basis. The IRS defines a session of play as beginning when a patron places the first wager on a particular type of game and ending when the same patron completes the last wager on the same type of game before the end of the same calendar day.

Nonprofessional gamblers report winnings as other income on line 21 of their tax returns. Gambling losses are deductible only to the extent of gambling winnings and are reported as itemized deductions on Schedule A that are not subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income threshold; therefore, deductions for gambling losses are not among the miscellaneous itemized deductions suspended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). If a taxpayer does not itemize, however, gambling losses cannot offset gambling winnings. Any unused deduction for gambling losses is lost forever (i.e., the losses cannot be carried forward or back).

To substantiate their gambling winnings and losses, taxpayers are required to keep an accurate diary or similar record. The diary or record must contain the following information:

It is extremely rare for a recreational gambler to maintain this type of detailed information. As a result, the IRS will generally also accept other evidence of gambling winnings and losses, such as printouts from the casino.

Nonresident alien individuals are also required to report their U.S.-source gambling winnings as income; however, deductions for nonresidents are only allowed if they are connected with income that is effectively connected with a trade or business. Accordingly, recreational gamblers who are nonresidents are unable to deduct their gambling losses to offset their gambling winnings.

Determining whether an individual is engaged in the trade or business of gambling is based on the facts and circumstances. InCommr v. Groetzinger,480 U.S. 23 (1987), the Supreme Court concluded that if ones gambling activity is pursued full time, in good faith, and with regularity, to the production of income for a livelihood, and is not a mere hobby, it is a trade or business. Courts have considered the following factors in assessing whether a taxpayer has the necessary profit motive (no single factor of which is controlling):

A professional gambler reports gambling income on Schedule C. In computing business income from gambling, the individual can net all wagering activity but cannot report an overall wagering loss. In addition, the individual can deduct any ordinary and necessary business expenses, which can include travel and meal costs, legal and accounting fees, and subscriptions to gambling magazines or services. In contrast to the rule for recreational gamblers who are nonresident aliens, professional gamblers who are nonresidents can deduct their gambling losses to offset their gambling winnings.

Prior to the TCJA, the Tax Court held that a professional gambler with business expenses in excess of net gambling winnings could report a business loss, which would generate a net operating loss. The TCJA reversed this favorable treatment for tax years beginning after 2017 and before 2026. Under the TCJA, losses from any wagering transaction during those years include any expenses incurred by the individual in connection with the conduct of gambling activity. Accordingly, a professional gambler with business expenses in excess of net gambling income would report a net profit of zero on Schedule C.

Certain professional gamblersespecially poker playerswill enter into staking agreements with benefactors, in which the benefactor financially sponsors the professional gambler and, in exchange, receives as a return a percentage of the winnings. Such relationships can raise questions regarding the gamblers withholding and reporting requirements, especially if the benefactor is a foreign individual.

A payment to a foreign individual or entity is subject to a 30% withholding tax if the payment is fixed or determinable annual or periodical income (FDAP) from sources within the United States. The Treasury Regulations broadly define FDAP, which courts and the IRS have held to include gambling winnings. A payor of FDAP is treated as a withholding agent and is required to file Form 1042-S, reporting withholding payments to each recipient, and Form 1042, summarizing all of its Forms 1042-S. Both forms must be filed with the IRS for each calendar year by March 15 of the following year.

The tax consequences to an individual with gambling income and losses can vary significantly depending upon whether the individual participates in the gambling activities on a recreational basis or as a professional gambler.

Payments made to a foreign person under a staking agreement would be treated as gambling winnings and thus subject to withholding if sourced in the United States. Payments made pursuant to these staking agreements for games played in the United States would be U.S.-source income generally subject to 30% withholding. Payments made under a staking agreement for games played by a U.S. person outside the United States could arguably be sourced outside the United States and thus exempt from withholding; however, there is no clear authority stating whether the site of the game or the residence of the payor is the decisive factor here. Accordingly, professional gamblers making payments under staking agreements to foreign payees should withhold on such payments regardless of whether the games occurred within or outside the United States.

If the payee of the staking agreements is also a professional gambler, he may be able to claim that the payments are effectively connected with his U.S. trade or business and thus exempt from withholding. Alternatively, the payee can claim that the payments are subject to reduced or no withholding based on an applicable income tax treaty between the United States and his country of residence. In either circumstance, the payments under the staking agreement may be exempt from withholding if the payee provides the appropriate withholding certificate.

The tax consequences to an individual with gambling income and losses can vary significantly depending upon whether the individual participates in the gambling activities on a recreational basis or as a professional gambler. CPAs whose clients have gambling income and losses will need to understand the specific manner in which those clients engage in such activities and, in certain circumstances, whether they have additional reporting and withholding requirements.

Eric Smith, JD, LLM is counsel at Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP, New York, N.Y.

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GAN Welcomes the Legalization of Internet Casino Gambling and Sports Betting in the State of Michigan – Yahoo Finance

Posted: at 10:44 am

GAN plc ("GAN" or the "Company"), an award-winning developer and supplier of enterprise-level B2B Internet gambling software, services and online gaming content in the United States, welcomes todays passage into Michigan law HB 4311, a bill that includes provisions for the legalization of full real money Internet casino gaming in the State of Michigan as well as Internet sports betting. The bill has now been signed into law by the Governor of Michigan, and the market is expected to commence in 2020. Consistent with the regimes implemented in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia, Michigan has elected to enable all forms of Internet gaming as well as Internet sports betting, thereby maximizing the commercial opportunity for all Industry stakeholders as well as ensuring new State tax revenues from Internet gambling will be material at 8.4% on sports betting revenues and up to 28% on Internet gaming revenues.

With a population of 10.0 million (3.1% of the US population), the State of Michigan materially increases the number of Americans who will be permitted to gamble online. In total, 21.3% of Americans now live in States with legislation enabling Internet gambling. With Michigans regulated Internet gambling market expected to commence in 2020, GAN is strongly positioned to serve Michigan casino operators in that State.

There are 26 casinos in Michigan comprising three commercial casinos in Detroit and a further 23 Native American casinos throughout the State. The Internet gambling market is forecast to generate $377 million in Gross Operator Revenue in the first 12 months of operations, increasing to $836 million in the fourth operating year (source: Regulus Partners, an International gambling consultancy).

Management Commentary

Dermot Smurfit, CEO of GAN commented:

"Including Michigan's population, 70 million Americans now enjoy laws enabling Internet gambling in their State. One year ago, Michigan passed legislation to regulate Internet gambling only for the former Governor to refuse to sign that bill into law. Yesterday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4311, and Michigan is now Americas 13th State to regulate Internet gambling and, more importantly, the seventh State to regulate in 2019 alone. This reinforces our belief that the regulatory cycle for Internet gambling in the US will continue at a rapid pace into 2020 and beyond. This also signals States' increased appetite for enabling Internet casino gaming, as opposed to just Internet sports betting, in order to logically maximize the incremental State tax opportunity. GAN is the only fully licensed B2B-only platform vendor operating in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana with the requisite technical expertise and day one experience in multiple US Internet gambling markets to credibly serve one or more of Michigans 26 land-based casinos."

About GAN Plc

GAN is a leading business-to-business ("B2B") supplier of internet gambling software-as-a-service solutions ("SaaS") to the US land-based casino industry. The Company has developed a proprietary internet gambling enterprise software system, GameSTACK, which it licenses principally to land-based US casino operators as a turnkey technology solution for regulated real-money internet gambling, encompassing internet gaming, internet sports gaming and virtual Simulated Gaming.

GAN is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: GAN).

For more information please visit http://www.GAN.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191223005034/en/


For further information:GAN Jack WielebinskiHead of Investor Relations+1 214 799 4660jwielebinski@GAN.com

US Investors: The Equity Group Adam Prioraprior@equityny.com +1 212 371 8660

UK & Ireland Investors: Newgate Communications Adam LloydGiles CrootGAN@Newgatecomms.com +44 (0) 20 3757 6880

Davy (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker) John Frain / Barry Murphy+353 1 679 6363

Liberum (Joint Broker) Neil Patel / Cameron Duncan+44 (0) 20 3100 2000

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GAN Welcomes the Legalization of Internet Casino Gambling and Sports Betting in the State of Michigan - Yahoo Finance

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Politically Speaking: Rep. Dan Shaul On How Gambling Is A Prime Issue In The Missouri Legislature – St. Louis Public Radio

Posted: at 10:44 am

State Rep. Dan Shaul joined St. Louis Public Radios Julie ODonoghue and Jason Rosenbaum on the latest edition of Politically Speaking.

The Imperial Republican represents the 113th District in the Missouri House. That takes in a portion of northern Jefferson County, particularly parts of Arnold, Imperial and Barnhart.

Heres what Shaul talked about during the program:

Shaul was first elected to the Missouri House in 2014, a year when a slew of Republicans managed to win seats in Jefferson County. Since his first win, Shaul has won re-election by increasingly wider margins as Jefferson County gravitated more to the Republican Party.

In addition to his legislative duties, Shaul is the executive director of the Missouri Grocers Association. Before he started working in the grocery industry, Shaul served in the Air Force.

The podcast is sponsored by the St. Louis-based law firm of Capes Sokol.

Follow Julie ODonoghue on Twitter: @jsodonoghue

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Music: Somebody I Used To Know (1988 Version) by Goyte

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Politically Speaking: Rep. Dan Shaul On How Gambling Is A Prime Issue In The Missouri Legislature - St. Louis Public Radio

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