The American Gaming Association (AGA) recently announced the creation of the AGA Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming, the first-ever comprehensive, industrywide approach to promoting responsible gaming and the next step in the industry's ongoing commitment to this issue.
The code encompasses every aspect of member-company business, from employee assistance and training to alcohol service, advertising and marketing. It also details the commitment of AGA member companies to continue support for research initiatives and public awareness activities surrounding responsible gaming and underage gambling.
The code was the result of many months of preparation and deliberation by a committee of representatives from AGA member companies. The final draft was reviewed and recommended by a special subcommittee of the AGA's board of directors before its approval by the full AGA board.
According to AGA President and CEO Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., the code does not create a mandate for AGA members but instead presents a strong framework for a general national program to promote responsible gaming.
"The code is a pledge to our patrons and employees that we will make these issues an integral part of our operations across the country," Fahrenkopf said. "Each of our member companies has taken individual steps to address these issues for many years, and the AGA has implemented a number of its own responsible gaming programs. We felt it was time to take the next step and develop a unified approach to promote responsible gaming in all gaming companies."
Specific provisions of the code include a commitment to train employees with regard to responsible gaming and responsible alcohol service, as well as a provision to allow patrons who have a gambling problem to self-exclude themselves from gaming activities. According to the code, this self-exclusion will include opportunities for patrons to request their removal from promotional mailing lists and to revoke privileges for casino services such as casino-issued markers, player club/card privileges and on-site check cashing.
AGA member companies have until Sept. 15 for full implementation of the code. Most member companies already are implementing many of the code's provisions as the result of existing company programs, state gaming laws, and the AGA's previous voluntary guidelines for responsible gaming, casino marketing and advertising, and unattended minors.
To assist with implementation, the AGA recently debuted the AGA Code of Conduct Online Resource Guide, accessible by AGA corporate members through the association's Web site at www.americangaming.org. The online resource guide includes the full text of the code with hyperlinks leading users to information that will help facilitate implementation of different provisions.
Each page includes a wealth of tools, including sample materials, related research and regulatory language, as well as existing training programs, publications, tutorials and AGA programs. It is the most comprehensive guide to the development of effective industry responsible gaming programs ever assembled. While the online resource guide is available only to AGA members, nonmembers can access full text of the code from the AGA Web site.
For more information or to obtain a copy of the AGA Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming, contact the AGA at 202-637-6500.