The June 2, 2010 article, “Equipment Maker Searches For Profit In The Mind Of The Gambler,” demonstrates, at best, a remarkable failure to understand the relationship between the gaming industry and our customers, and, at worst, reveals an anti-gaming bias.
It is true that the gaming industry, like all other industries, always is looking to provide our customers with new, more exciting and entertaining experiences. Slot machine manufacturers constantly are developing games to help achieve that goal. Introducing new machines that are responsive to our customers’ demands enables us to keep our share of the highly competitive entertainment marketplace. As a result, we are able to pay the salaries of hundreds of thousands of men and women who work in or support our industry. And, yes, we also are able provide a return for our investors.
To suggest, as your reporter does, that our efforts are focused on the tiny percentage of people who cannot gamble responsibly is simply untrue. To say outright that casinos help manufacturers “identify the most addicted gamers” is not only inaccurate, it borders on libelous. Casino companies do no such thing. Nor would they be able to, as identifying problem gamblers is not possible with the information available to a casino.
The fact is the modern gaming industry always has recognized that there are individuals who cannot gamble responsibly, and that, both in human terms and in business terms, we should do our best to encourage responsible gaming and find ways to help problem gamblers.
To that end, our companies actively promote responsible gaming at their properties and in gaming communities, and they support organizations that assist problem gamblers. The industry as a whole also has contributed millions of dollars to some of the nation’s most prestigious universities to fund research focused on helping problem gamblers.
Your readers were badly served in this instance. The purpose of this letter is to set the record straight.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.
President and CEO
American Gaming Association