WASHINGTON— The American Gaming Association (AGA) today released the third white paper in its 10th Anniversary Research Series, focusing on the impact of the industry’s collaborative responsible gaming initiatives as seen through the eyes of prominent figures throughout the gaming industry and scientific research and treatment communities.
The paper, “An Industrywide Response: Promoting Responsible Gaming and Problem Gambling Research, Education and Treatment,” uses a series of interviews to trace the AGA’s role in the development and implementation of responsible gaming practices throughout the industry’s maturation and subsequent expansion. Among the 11 interviewees are Bill Boyd, chairman and chief executive officer of Boyd Gaming Corporation; Kevin Mullally, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission; Phil Satre, former chairmen of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.; and Ken Winters, Ph.D., professor at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota and director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research.
“From the beginning, responsible gaming has been among our highest priorities,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the AGA. “Who better to discuss the results of our collaborative approach than the people who have played such a major role in shaping what we know about disordered gambling and how we address it as an industry?”
According to the paper, the leadership of the AGA gave the industry a single, cohesive voice on issues of responsible gaming, while a standardized approach provided direction and heft to the industry’s outreach efforts.
The paper is divided into three sections, beginning with an explanation of the factors that prompted the development of an industrywide response to disordered gambling and led the first AGA board of directors to establish responsible gaming as one of its top priorities. The paper highlights early initiatives including creation of the AGA Responsible Gaming Task Force, development of the PROGRESS (Promoting Responsible Gaming Resources and Education Standards) Kit and the annual Responsible Gaming Education Week, which celebrated its eight year in 2005. Next, the paper includes extensive discussion of the process of developing the AGA Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming, the first comprehensive industrywide approach to responsible gaming, which was implemented by AGA member companies in 2004.
The third section of the paper chronicles the industry’s decision to establish the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) in 1996 and examines how that organization has helped advance the field of pathological gambling research and contributed to a greater understanding of issues related to disordered gambling.
In the paper, Mullally credits the industry with making responsible gaming a priority.
“The commercial casino industry has set itself apart by leading the way and succeeding in the important task of focusing on the issue of problem gambling in its day-to-day activities,” he said. “Problem gambling awareness and the promotion of responsible gaming now are part of the business of operating a casino.”
Each white paper in the AGA’s 10th Anniversary research series will be authored by an individual or an organization with expert knowledge of the paper’s topic and will provide either an analytical or broad-stroke examination of a different industry-related subject.
The full text of “An Industrywide Response: Promoting Responsible Gaming and Problem Gambling Research, Education and Treatment,” is available in the 10th Anniversary Research Series” section of the AGA Web Site at www.americangaming.org. Subsequent papers will be added to the site as released.
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.