WASHINGTON— This week, casinos and gaming companies from across the nation are joining with the American Gaming Association (AGA) and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) to commemorate the 15th annual Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW). Activities for the week, which runs July 30-Aug. 3, will tie in with the theme “All In for Responsible Gaming.” The theme, an extension of the AGA’s 2012 “All In” campaign highlighting the gaming industry’s corporate social responsibility efforts, focuses on the fact that responsible gaming is not just a casino issue, but a community issue – and gaming employees are often the industry’s best ambassadors among the community at-large.
“Gaming companies spend a great deal of time and effort educating employees about responsible gaming, and this year’s theme will ask employees to think about their relationship with this important issue and how they can be responsible gaming resources within their communities,” said Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the AGA. “However, responsible gaming also is a deeply personal issue, so we are asking employees to think about how their daily lives are affected by responsible gaming.”
Following on its call for employees to examine their personal relationship with responsible gaming, the AGA is sponsoring a contest for industry employees during RGEW through which they can create posters, essays and videos that showcase what responsible gaming means to them. The best entries will be featured on the AGA’s website. The deadline to enter the national contest is August 13, and more information can be found at www.americangaming.org/AllInContest.
The AGA also is working with the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) to release a new research-based guidebook for human resources and employee assistance professionals that answers frequently asked questions about gambling disorders and responsible gaming and serves as a useful resource for employees looking for more information. The new publication also is being made available to human resources professionals across the country. The new resource is available for download at www.ncrg.org/gamblingandhealth.
In addition to the coordinated nationwide activities occurring during RGEW, individual casinos and gaming companies have developed their own activities to educate employees and patrons:
- Employees from Hollywood Casino Perryville in Perryville, Md. will make a responsible gaming themed music video featuring cast members that will play in employee areas. The video also will be posted on YouTube.
- Harrah’s Casino Council Bluffs in Council Bluffs, Iowa will host an RGEW opening reception, which will be attended by representatives of other Council Bluffs area casinos – Ameristar Council Bluffs and Horseshoe Council Bluffs - local problem gambling treatment providers, state regulators and local elected officials. The mayor of Council Bluffs will use the event as an opportunity to read a proclamation declaring July 30-Aug. 3 Responsible Gaming Education Week in Council Bluffs.
- Employees at Isle of Capri Casino in Kansas City, Mo. will receive responsible gaming refreshers, including information on alcohol awareness and stopping underage patrons from gambling, via Powerpoint presentations that will run all week in the employee dining room. Team members also can complete responsible gaming training activities for the chance to win prizes.
- At Ameristar Casinos, Inc. properties across the country, employees will be reminded of the importance of responsible gaming through employee newsletters, daily email blasts, responsible gaming quizzes and pre-shift meetings.
- At the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J., the staff realizes that knowing the rules of the games is vital to responsible gaming education, so they will celebrate the week by highlighting the property’s race book area and teaching team members about betting on the horse races. Slot machines and a new game on the casino floor, “Five Card High Low,” also will be showcased for employees.
- Each day during RGEW, daily pre-shift meetings at Excalibur Hotel and Casino and the Luxor in Las Vegas, Nev. will begin with responsible gaming messages, and each employee will have the chance to participate in an “Am I Old Enough” contest featuring the properties’ executives.
- Argosy Casino in Alton, Ill. is creating a scroll with responsible gaming messages that arriving customers will be encouraged to sign as a pledge to gamble responsibly.
As it has in the past, the AGA created buttons, stickers and ribbons for gaming companies and properties to make available to employees to help promote RGEW, and individual properties will display promotional materials and provide both employees and customers with copies of important responsible gaming education materials. All of the AGA’s responsible gaming educational and promotional materials are available in both English and Spanish.
Responsible Gaming Education Week was developed in 1998 as part of the Responsible Gaming National Education Campaign, a long-term, comprehensive program spearheaded by the AGA. RGEW is designed to heighten awareness of responsible gaming and disordered gambling among employees, patrons and the general public.
Follow the AGA on Twitter (@AGAupdate) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/americangaming) this week to learn more about property-level RGEW activities and responsible gaming tips.