BILOXI, Miss. — When the casino gaming industry gathers in Biloxi, Mississippi, May 5 & 6, for the Southern Gaming Summit, several key casino industry issues will be discussed, including research on disordered gambling, children and minors in the casino environment, and promotion of responsible gaming.
The Mississippi-based gaming summit, which will be held at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi, Mississippi, will also feature new participants who will be addressing some of these important industry issues, including representatives from the National Center for Responsible Gaming, the Mississippi Council on Compulsive Gambling and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
On Tuesday, May 5, 2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Room D-5), the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children will conduct a technical assistance seminar on the issue of children and minors in casinos. Subtitled, “A Technical Assistance Program for Unattended and Missing/Exploited Children and Minors,” this program will be led by Ernie Allen, president & CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). Last year, the NCMEC and the AGA formed a partnership in an effort to ensure the safety of children who visit hotel-casino properties with their parents. In this seminar, the NCMEC will offer its expertise and assistance regarding the best practices for keeping children and minors safe and secure. The steps taken by the AGA to address this important issue will also be discussed. The seminar is intended for security; hotel/casino management and operations; legal personnel; public relations professionals; and human resources representatives. All casino employees will be admitted free of charge.
During a keynote dinner Tuesday evening, May 5, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Room A-1), International Game Technology (IGT) will announce the details of “Responsible Gaming Education Week,” a major component to the AGA’s “Responsible Gaming National Education Campaign.” Casino companies will be asked to devote the entire week of August 3, 1998, to promoting responsible gaming activities. As part of this effort, the AGA will provide more than 200,000 educational brochures, financed by IGT, on disordered gambling to casino employees across the country.
On Wednesday morning, May 6, although closed to the public, the Gaming Entertainment Research and Education Foundation (GEREF) — the board that oversees the National Center for Responsible Gaming — will use the occasion of the Mississippi gaming meetings as an opportunity to hold a meeting to discuss future research on gambling disorders. The board is comprised of industry and non-industry leaders.
On Wednesday, May 6, at 12:00 noon, the GEREF board of directors will be joined by community leaders in the Gulf Coast area for a luncheon to discuss the important work of the National Center for Responsible Gaming. Tom Brosig, president & CEO of Grand Casinos, Inc. and a GEREF board member, will host the luncheon at Brulos Restaurant in the Biloxi Island View Hotel (245 Beach Blvd.).
On Wednesday, May 6, 2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Room D-5), Dr. Howard Shaffer, director of Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addictions, will present his research findings from the study he co-authored, Estimating the Prevalence of Disordered Gambling Behavior in the United States and Canada: A Meta-Analysis. The seminar, titled, “Understanding Gambling and its Potential Health Consequences,” will be co-sponsored by the National Center for Responsible Gaming — the organization that provided the grant for the study — and the Mississippi Council on Compulsive Gambling. In addition to presenting his research findings, Dr. Shaffer will address several of the key issues often raised when examining problem gambling behavior. This program is a repeat of a highly successful program co-sponsored by the AGA last February in Las Vegas. The seminar is intended for educators; social services professionals; financial planners; banking industry; EAP providers; human resources staff; communications & public relations representatives; corporate responsible gaming staff; table operations representatives; executives; treatment professionals; health care providers; and problem gambling counselors. It is open to all casino employees free of charge.
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.
Press Note: All events described above, except the Gaming Entertainment Research and Education Foundation board meeting, are open to the media. For press credentials, please call 1-800-559-2695, or Kathleen Schippers at the AGA at 202-637-6506.