The introduction of a popular new public awareness campaign, coupled with the debut of new public service announcements and a revamped odds brochure, made 2005 a banner year for American Gaming Association (AGA) responsible gaming programs.
Banding Together to Keep it Fun
In celebration of the eighth annual Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW) this August, the AGA launched "We're Banding Together to Keep it Fun," one of its most proactive, pervasive and successful responsible gaming awareness campaigns to date. With the help of industry executives and employees, the AGA kicked off RGEW 2005 and the "Banding Together" campaign at a press event on Aug. 1, 2005 at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Months after RGEW, the "Banding Together" campaign continues to unite all gaming stakeholders in a common, year-round effort to promote responsible gaming.
Throughout RGEW 2005, executives and employees from more than 100 gaming companies showed their support for the "Banding Together" campaign by wearing bright orange "Keep it Fun" responsible gaming awareness wristbands that are the centerpiece of the campaign. The AGA distributed approximately 120,000 wristbands to casino properties and gaming equipment manufacturers during RGEW alone and provided further support for its members by distributing other "Keep it Fun" informational materials for the companies to use in educating employees, patrons and the public about the importance of responsible gaming. Generating significant positive media coverage during RGEW 2005, the "Banding Together" campaign has maintained its momentum due to the popular and highly visible wristbands, which are available in both English and Spanish versions. At $1 apiece, the bands have become a fashionable way for gaming stakeholders to show support for responsible gaming awareness.
"The AGA and its members are always investigating new ways to bring important messages about responsible gaming to our employees, patrons and the public," said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the AGA. "The 'Keep it Fun' wristbands have become a popular sight in gaming communities nationwide, allowing all gaming stakeholders to show their support for this important issue and to play a significant role in increasing awareness."
Several months after RGEW, a number of casino properties are continuing to sell the wristbands in their retail establishments, and the bands still are available for purchase on the AGA Web site atwww.americangaming.org. In the months since their debut, the wristbands also have been sold at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and Global Gaming Expo (G2E). "Keep it Fun"
wristbands also will be available for purchase Dec. 7-8 at the National Center for Responsible Gaming's (NCRG) Annual Conference on Gambling and Addiction at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. All proceeds from the wristbands go to the NCRG to be used in support of local responsible gaming education programs. To date, the AGA and its member companies have sold more than 120,000 bands, and the AGA anticipates that number to grow.
"When You Gamble for Fun, You've Already Won"
In late July, the AGAÕs first-ever television public service announcement (PSA) focused on responsible gaming saw its national debut on The Travel Channel network, home to the weekly World Poker Tour series and other gaming-related programming. The 30-second PSA, featuring the tagline "When you gamble for fun, you've already won," includes tips on how to gamble responsibly and how to get more information on responsible gaming. The ad continues to air on The Travel Channel in conjunction with all its gaming-related programming.
AGA member companies also have incorporated the PSA into their communications efforts- Station Casinos, Ameristar Casinos, Harrah's Entertainment and MGM MIRAGE all used the PSA extensively during RGEW and Boyd Gaming Corporation secured additional air time for the spot on the Cox Broadcasting Network in Las Vegas.
Building on the success of the television PSA, the AGA also released a new series of print PSAs that capture the look, theme and messaging of their television counterpart. The ads feature the same characters audiences met in the television spot, delivering further tips on gambling responsibly. The AGA will make the print PSAs, which like the television spots can be customized with individual corporate logos, available to all member companies to be used in in-house and local community publications.
Second Edition of Popular Information Resource is Released
The AGA recently published a second edition of The House Advantage: A Guide to Understanding the Odds, a pamphlet designed to educate patrons about the probabilities of winning or losing at the various games offered by casinos. The House Advantage was initially created by the AGA to help members fulfill one of the provisions of the AGA Code of Conduct, which was implemented by all AGA member companies last year. Since its first edition in 2004, The House Advantage has been a popular information tool among AGA member companies and their patrons. The brochures are available for order on the AGA Web site at www.americangaming.org.