WASHINGTON—Casinos and gaming companies across the country are joining together with the American Gaming Association (AGA) and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to responsible play during Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW). The theme for the 13th annual event, being held Aug. 2-6, is “Taking the Mystery Out of the Machine.” This week, participating casinos will work to educate employees and the public about how slot machines and other casino games work because understanding the odds of casino games is a key component of responsible gaming.
To help educate gaming employees, the AGA has developed employee education activities for RGEW focusing not only on how slot machines work and correcting some of the misconceptions about them, but on the many other aspects of responsible gaming that are an integral part of gaming operations.
“Responsible gaming is embedded in the culture of gaming companies and something to which everyone is committed – from CEOs to valets to blackjack dealers and beyond, but this week is an opportunity to renew our focus on this important issue,” said Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the AGA.
In conjunction with RGEW 2010, the AGA is releasing a new brochure, “Taking the Mystery Out of the Machine: A Guide to Understanding Slot Machines,” that provides gaming employees and patrons with digestible information about how slots are operated, developed and regulated. The resource will be widely distributed at casinos nationwide during RGEW and will be available at many properties year-round as part of casinos’ standard responsible gaming resources. The brochure can be downloaded from the AGA website at www.americangaming.org.
“Casino patrons consistently say that slot machines are their favorite game, but most people know very little about how slots are developed or how they work,” Fahrenkopf said. “This new resource will go a long way toward addressing this knowledge gap and correcting the most widely held misconceptions about gaming machines.”
In addition to the coordinated nationwide activities occurring during RGEW, individual casinos and gaming companies have developed creative activities to educate employees and patrons:
- Patrons visiting Argosy Casino in Sioux City, Iowa will have the opportunity to learn about the internal workings of a slot machine through a display featuring the machine’s key parts and descriptions of how they work.
- In addition to its responsible gaming certification for all front-of-the-house employees, Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel in Joliet, Ill., will have responsible gaming ambassadors roaming the casino floor quizzing employees about responsible gaming for the chance to win a prize.
- At two of MGM Resorts International’s Las Vegas properties – Circus Circus – Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and ARIA Resort & Casino at City Center – employees will learn about the importance of recognizing the legal age to gamble by guessing the ages of celebrities as part of a game called “Is This Person 21?” Employees who answer correctly are entered into a prize raffle.
- Lady Luck Casino in Caruthersville, Mo. will air public service announcements about responsible gaming on local TV channels and in area newspapers, while also creating responsible gaming activity workbooks for employees.
- Las Vegas Sands Corp. will be promoting RGEW at all its properties around the world, including those in Macau and Singapore. Employees will refresh their knowledge of responsible gaming through educational materials translated into English, Spanish and simple Chinese.
- Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J. will showcase slot machines from different eras, and associates must guess the order of the machines from oldest to newest, with winners receiving prizes. Employees also will learn about the differences in payout percentages for different types of machines.
- Employees at International Game Technology (IGT), the world’s largest slot machine manufacturer, will refresh their knowledge of responsible gaming concepts during a quiz contest with the winner taking home a new iPad.
- Pinnacle Entertainment’s River City and Lumière Place Casinos in St. Louis, Mo. will provide slots and player’s club employees with RGEW buttons and brochures, and all employees will learn more about responsible gaming during their daily pre-shift meetings.
- Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City, Kan. will host a property-wide responsible gaming scavenger hunt for team members who will ask questions of executives and find the locations of responsible gaming resources. The casino also will promote RGEW on the property’s main marquee.
As it has in past, the AGA created buttons, stickers and ribbons for members to make available to their 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.
The AGA represents the commercial casino-entertainment industry by addressing federal legislative and regulatory issues. The association also serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.
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’s mission is to help individuals and families affected by gambling disorders by supporting the finest peer-reviewed, scientific research into pathological and youth gambling; encouraging the application of new research findings to improve prevention, diagnostic, intervention and treatment strategies; and advancing public education about responsible gaming. The NCRG is the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) affiliated charity. For more information, visit www.ncrg.org.