Tabcorp, a leading Australian gaming and entertainment corporation, recently released a company-wide Code of Practice for Responsible Gaming, substantially reworking its original 2001 code. Announced in January 2006, the new code of practice was fully implemented across the companyÕs operations in June.
Tabcorp retained business consulting firm KPMG to run an annual analysis of the Code's effectiveness, and a comprehensive review of the company's responsible gaming policies, practices and requirements led to the complete revision of the code. According to Tabcorp, the revision strengthened the original code to make it more relevant to both the company and its customers.
Like the original, Tabcorp's revised code introduces a set of common standards in responsible delivery of gambling products to be implemented at all of the company's properties throughout Australia. The 19-page document focuses on minimizing the risk of patrons developing gambling problems and providing assistance whenever possible to those who develop problems. The code has five major objectives:
- To provide information on the company's products and services so customers can make informed decisions about gambling;
- To deliver gambling products and services according to the highest standards and consistency of customer care;
- To provide information on available support services for problem gamblers;
- To support and monitor local and international developments related to problem gambling research, programs and initiatives; and
- To maintain meaningful relationships with all key stakeholders to enhance understanding of the issue
of problem gambling and develop the most effective methods to encourage responsible gaming.
The code serves as a commitment to gaming patrons, employees and their families to provide a safe environment in which to make educated decisions about gambling within limits. It includes provisions covering everything from employee training, educational materials development, and advertising and marketing to dealing with minors and unattended children, ATM location, self-exclusion programs and more. One provision mandates that the code be made available for reference by employees and customers at all Tabcorp establishments.
Tabcorp established a responsible gambling committee to administer the code, which includes an aggressive compliance component. Each participating venue, as well as the entire Tabcorp company, will be required to undergo an annual independent review of compliance with the code, and results of the reviews will be made available to all interested stakeholders, including community groups and agencies, governments, problem gambling counselors, researchers and industry groups.
Failure by an employee or venue to comply with the code could result in penalties ranging from the provision of further training or education to the removal of accreditation, warnings or, in the most severe cases, disciplinary action or termination of employment or contract. Additionally, Tabcorp will conduct a thorough assessment of the code every three years to ensure that it remains current and relevant.
"For Tabcorp, the welfare of our customers, employees and the wider community is paramount," wrote Matthew Slatter, managing director and chief executive officer of the company, in the introduction to the code. "We see the formation of long-term relationships with our customers as the basis of operating a sustainable business. It is therefore critical that we focus on maximizing customer enjoyment of our product, games and facilities, whilst minimizing the potential harm that can arise from gambling."