WASHINGTON—As part of their year-round efforts to encourage people to gamble responsibly, casinos and gaming companies across the country are joining together with the American Gaming Association (AGA) and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) for the 14th annual Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW). The theme for the event, being held Aug. 1-5, is “Know the Odds,” which urges gaming employees and patrons to learn more about how casino games work and the odds of winning and losing.
“The gaming industry takes responsible gaming very seriously, and a major part of its efforts center on transparency and education,” said Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the AGA. “It’s important for our employees and patrons to understand that the odds are with the house whenever someone enters a casino. This knowledge doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun gambling, but it can help people make more responsible decisions, which is the cornerstone of keeping gambling fun.”
The centerpiece of the AGA’s education efforts regarding the odds of casino games is its brochure, “The House Advantage: A Guide to Understanding the Odds,” which provides information about the casino’s advantage in various games, debunks some commonly held superstitions, and outlines each game’s mathematical probabilities and other factors behind winning and losing. The resource is widely distributed at casinos nationwide as part of their suite of responsible gaming resources and can be downloaded from the AGA website at www.americangaming.org.
Understanding the odds is just one aspect of responsible gaming, and the AGA has developed educational activities and resources that help gaming employees learn about other key principles of responsible gaming like budgeting, understanding probability, gambling for entertainment instead of a way to make money, preventing underage gambling and responsible alcohol service.
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
- The table games staff at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J. will help their fellow employees learn about some of the newer games on the casino floor with back-of-the-house demonstrations, and associates will have the chance to win a prize by guessing the odds of different games.
- Hollywood Casino Perryville in Perryville, Md. is celebrating Maryland’s first RGEW during “Hollywood Casino Perryville Night” at the Aberdeen Ironbirds game, with responsible gaming messages read between innings and literature at the casino’s booth in the main pavilion.
- Ameristar Casinos, Inc. properties across the country will use a variety of creative communications materials – internal newsletters, notices in employee dining rooms, messages on communications television screens, desktop screen savers and pre-shift meetings – to remind its employees about the importance of responsible gaming and knowing the odds.
- At Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, the employee dining rooms will be turned into hubs of responsible gaming education with activities that help employees learn while having fun, including a specially designed slot machine with “responsible gaming” on the reels. Employees that answer responsible gaming questions correctly get a chance to spin for prizes.
- Each day during RGEW, slot and table games supervisors and managers will be on-hand in the employee dining room at New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to show employees how to play some of the casino’s games, answer questions and explain the odds of each game.
- Las Vegas Sands Corp. will be participating in RGEW at its properties in Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and Singapore by providing team members and guests with copies of the “Understanding the Odds” brochures and using electronic media to remind team members about responsible play.
- International Game Technology (IGT), the world’s largest slot machine manufacturer, will use posters and brochures to raise awareness at its properties and provide information about knowing the odds via its company intranet. At the end of the week, employees will take a quiz on what they learned with the chance to win an iPad.
- Pinnacle Entertainment’s River City and Lumière Place Casinos in St. Louis, Mo. have created table game learning areas for team members that will educate them on the principles that drive house advantage calculations.
- Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee, Wis. held a “rap-n-rhyme” contest where casino team members were asked to create a rap song with the subject of responsible gaming. Clips of the winning raps will be shown on the property’s website to commemorate RGEW.
- At Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Lake Charles, La., daily communications activities and pre-shift meetings will focus on responsible gaming and knowing the odds, and responsible gaming posters and flyers will be available in the employee dining room.
As it has in 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, responsible gaming tips and facts about the odds and how casino games work.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) is the national trade association for the commercial casino industry. In addition to representing the interests of its members on federal legislative and regulatory issues, the AGA serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern. Follow the AGA on Twitter (@AGAupdate) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/americangaming).
The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) is the only national organization exclusively devoted to funding research that helps increase understanding of pathological and youth gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder. Founded in 1996 as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, the NCRG is the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) affiliated charity. For more information, visit www.ncrg.org. NCRG funds provide grants to researchers to increase understanding of pathological gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder.