WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 200,000 employees in 26 states, along with many state councils on problem gambling and public officials, are mobilizing their efforts to raise awareness of the importance of responsible gaming practices during the casino entertainment industry’s first annual “Responsible Gaming Education Week.”
Responsible Gaming Education Week, designated for Aug. 3-7, 1998, is part of the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Responsible Gaming National Education Campaign, an ongoing industrywide effort to educate casino employees and customers about the importance of responsible gaming and the problem of disordered gambling.
Across the country, activities already are being planned to mark Responsible Gaming Education Week. A responsible gaming seminar sponsored by the Nevada and Arizona Councils on Problem Gambling will be held in Laughlin, Nev. In Arizona, Gov. Jane Dee Hull has declared Aug. 3-7 “Arizona Responsible Gambling Education Week.” Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. is holding a contest for its 30,000 employees to develop a slogan that will be used to promote responsible gaming practices in the casino company’s 18 U.S. properties in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington, as well as its corporate headquarters in Memphis, Tenn. And on Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-Nev.) will highlight the efforts of the casino gaming industry in a speech before the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Our member companies have been active in addressing this issue for some time, but we felt it was important to expand our efforts through a national, industrywide education campaign,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., AGA president and CEO. “It’s an ambitious effort to reach every one of our employees and the general public, as well as share our best practices within the industry.”
As part of that effort, the AGA has sent more than 230,000 educational brochures — financed by International Game Technology (IGT) — for distribution to casino employees nationwide. AGA also is sponsoring a contest along with Grand Casinos, Inc., which is donating prize money, to solicit from employees their best ideas to promote responsible gaming practices; the winning entries will be compiled into a handbook for use by all AGA member companies. In addition, the AGA sent information packets to project leaders at casino properties, which included posters, flyers and other materials to help publicize Responsible Gaming Education Week activities. In June, the AGA released the second edition of its Responsible Gaming Resource Guide, a compilation of the best programs, approaches and ideas available for dealing with problem and underage gambling.
Responsible Gaming Education Week has mobilized everyone within the industry, including non-AGA members, many of whom were invited and elected to participate in this week’s activities.
The AGA represents the casino 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 issues that are of public concern.