How Do They Do It? A Firsthand Look Inside the Collaboration and Development of the Ohio Lottery’s Responsible Gambling Program
Wednesday, 2:00pm - 2:45pm ET
Executive Director, Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health
Marlene Warner has been with the Council since 2001 and Executive Director since 2011. She led the development and implementation of Responsible Gambling (RG) programs for Wynn, Penn National and MGM Casinos, and worked with the Mass Gaming Council to launch Voluntary Self-Exclusion programs in the Commonwealth. She has also initiated and delivered RG training for sales agents and retailers at U.S. lotteries throughout North American State and Provincial Lotteries Association.
Warner is a passionate expert and advocate for responsible gambling. She was the previous board president and current board member of the National Council on Responsible Gambling. She is a chair of the regional northeast PG organization and has delivered RG consulting services nationwide. She often advises state lawmakers considering expansions of gaming legislation.
Director of Responsible Gambling, Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health
Chelsea Turner works closely with the Executive Team to help advocate for those affected by problem gambling and develop programs and services that are designed to keep gambling a healthy and safe form of entertainment. She directly oversees the GameSense program, a harm reduction program inside the Massachusetts casino properties. Prior to joining MACGH, Turner worked at the Connecticut Lottery in various roles, including Vice President, where she oversaw and managed the Lottery’s Corporate Responsibility Programs, Government Affairs, and the Purchasing, Claims and Warehouse Departments. Turner is a graduate of Bates College (B.A.) and UConn (M.P.A.).
Director of Responsible Gambling, Ohio Lottery Commission
Karen Russo was named Director of Responsible Gambling in January 2020 at the Ohio Lottery Commission and serves as the Lottery’s Problem Gambling Advocate, ensuring best practices in corporate social responsibility. In her nearly 30-year tenure at the Lottery, she has held various positions in the sales division, web administration, communications and public relations. Russo serves on the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) Responsible Gambling & Regulation Committee, the Ohio Problem Gambling Advisory Board, the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio Advisory Board, the Cleveland Foodbank External Affairs Committee, and is an active member of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). Russo received the NASPL 2019 Powers Award and 15 national awards, along with state agency partners for problem gambling awareness programs. She has presented at in-state and national conferences throughout the years on creating a statewide voluntary exclusion program and the success of Ohio’s problem gambling stakeholder partnerships.
Russo has a degree from Kent State University in Public Relations. Prior to joining the Lottery, she served as Promotions Director for the Cleveland Crunch Major Indoor Soccer League. She is a proud mother of three children and resides in Cleveland, OH.
Assistant Director, Sales & Marketing, Ohio Lottery Commission
Nicole Kostura was appointed Assistant Director of Sales, Marketing, and Product Development in April 2019. In this position, she works closely with the Executive Director to ensure the Lottery continues to be innovative to stay true to its mission of maximizing profits for Ohio’s Lottery Profits Education Fund. Kostura oversees the agency’s senior management of sales, marketing, communications, product innovation, responsible gambling, and public policy departments. Previously, she served as the Lottery’s Deputy Director of Government & Community Relations since January of 2017.
Prior to joining the Lottery, Kostura served as Governor John Kasich’s Northeast Ohio Regional Liaison for six years. She also has several years of experience in county government from her time with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, where she held several roles within the Voter Registration and Executive Board offices. Kostura is graduate of Ashland University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science.