LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The American Gaming Association (AGA) will take a leading role in discussing responsible gaming initiatives at the World Gaming Congress & Expo ‘97 by officially launching its Responsible Gaming National Education Campaign during the three-day conference. Elements of the Responsible Gaming Education Campaign will be a focal point of many of the AGA’s planned activities and seminars during the World Gaming Congress, where more than 21,000 individuals associated with the gaming industry are expected to congregate.
The AGA will kick off its portion of the World Gaming Congress with the AGA Responsible Gaming Certification Course, Tuesday, Oct. 14. The day-long, comprehensive course will provide information concerning the phenomenon of problem gambling and work with attendees in establishing and improving responsible gaming programs within their operations. AGA’s Responsible Gaming Task Force, which includes representatives of more than 15 AGA-member companies and leading experts in the area of problem and underage gambling, was instrumental in providing expertise and guidance in developing the certification course, and many of them will have significant roles in the day’s activities. Dr. Carl Braunlich from the Department of Restaurant, Hotel, Institutional and Tourism Management at Purdue University and Betty George, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Compulsive Gambling, will lead the course.
“The AGA is taking an aggressive role in addressing the issue of problem and underage gambling, and we applaud the many casino companies who have already implemented responsible gaming programs within their own companies,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president & CEO of the American Gaming Association. “The World Gaming Congress provides a perfect opportunity to relay this important message to all of the people who make up the gaming industry to let them know not only how serious a matter it is, but that they, too, can do something about it.”
On Thursday, Oct. 16, the AGA will present State-of-the-Art Programs Designed to Address Problem and Underage Gambling. The hour-and-a-half long seminar will include topics such as: how to survey the health risks of employees for addictive behaviors and better target company resources to assist them; the development of a responsible gaming program for suppliers and vendors; and the release of the AGA’s underage training curriculum. The seminar will also showcase an employee training video on problem gambling. Thomas Brosig, president of Grand Casinos, Inc., will moderate this seminar and discuss what steps his company has taken to address the issue, as well as preview the AGA’s national public education campaign for responsible gaming, which will be launched later this year.
The AGA will round out the three-day conference by hosting, with the World Gaming Congress, the Hall of Fame Charity Dinner and Induction Ceremony, Thursday, Oct. 16. For the first time in the event’s existence, proceeds from the Hall of Fame event will benefit the industry’s charity, the National Center for Responsible Gaming, and will go towards funding independent research into problem and underage gambling. The Center is a division of the Gaming Entertainment Research and Education Foundation and is the first nationwide funding source devoted exclusively to the study of problem gambling. The mission of the Center is to help people and families affected by problem gambling disorders and to eliminate underage gambling altogether.
“We believe that that one problem gambler is one too many,” said Fahrenkopf. “The industry takes this issue seriously and wants to help the small number of people who can’t gamble responsibly.” Since its opening in June 1995, the AGA has taken solid steps toward getting the industry involved in implementing responsible gaming programs and in developing improved treatment, education and prevention programs.
The World Gaming Congress is the official trade show and conference of the AGA. In addition to its many seminars and the Hall of Fame dinner, the AGA will be holding its annual meeting, a member reception, and a state associations meeting during the three days of the World Gaming Congress. The AGA represents the gaming-entertainment industry by addressing regulatory, legislative and educational issues. The association serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops aggressive educational and advocacy programs and provides leadership in addressing industry issues that are of public concern.