WASHINGTON—The American Gaming Association (AGA), the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) and almost 100 casino and gaming companies across North America are coming together to encourage employees, patrons and the public to engage in a conversation about responsible gaming during the 11th annual Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW), which begins today. The theme of this year’s event, scheduled for Aug. 4-8, “Let’s Talk About Responsible Gaming” is aimed at encouraging employees to begin a conversation about responsible gaming at home, on the job and in the community.
“Responsible gaming is not just an issue for casinos, it’s an issue for the whole community,” said Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA). “Encouraging industry employees to share their knowledge about this topic and the importance of making educated decisions about gambling is crucial, not just during Responsible Gaming Education Week, but throughout the year.”
As it does every year, the AGA has created buttons, stickers and ribbons for members to make available to their employees to help promote RGEW, and individual properties will display promotional materials throughout their properties 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.
The AGA also has developed a number of additional materials to enhance the responsible gaming training efforts of individual companies and help them to promote RGEW among their employees and in their communities.
In conjunction with the coordinated nationwide activities occurring during RGEW 2008, individual casinos and gaming companies have devised additional ways to inspire a conversation about responsible gaming:
- Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa in Riverside Mo. will be running a Design a Game Contest where team members can create a game, coloring book or word game highlighting responsible gaming themes. Winners will receive family vacation prize packages.
- Ameristar Casinos, Inc. properties across the country will include responsible gaming themes in their “on-hold” phone messages, hold pre-shift meetings regarding responsible gaming and RGEW, and seek city proclamations supporting the week in all operating jurisdictions.
- At New York New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., employees will be encouraged to wear the AGA’s orange “Keep It Fun” awareness wristbands because the property’s “Responsible Gaming Prize Patrol” will be walking around the property to catch someone “orange banded.” If the Prize Patrol can catch an employee wearing their orange wristband and they can correctly answer a question about responsible gaming, they will receive a prize and be mentioned in a future employee newsletter.
- Leading gaming equipment manufacturer, Aristocrat Technologies, will be sponsoring a poster contest open to all employees with the theme of responsible gaming. Winners will be decided at the end of the week, and winning posters will be displayed for the balance of the year.
- At properties owned by Boyd Gaming Corporation, employees will be receiving informal refresher training on the company’s policies and procedures regarding disordered gambling and the AGA Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming. Puzzles and quizzes will be used to reinforce employees’ understanding of what they learn.
- At Harrah’s Phoenix Ak-Chin Casino in Arizona, team members will wear responsible gaming buttons throughout the week, managers and supervisors will incorporate responsible gaming messages in their pre-shift meetings, and employees that successfully complete responsible gaming puzzles will be eligible for a prize drawing.
“Promoting responsible gaming is something our industry takes very seriously 365 days a year. The activities taking place during RGEW are just a small representation of the many training and awareness efforts our employees participate in every day,” Fahrenkopf said. “We’re proud of the efforts put forth by both our companies and their employees to further public education and awareness of responsible gaming and spread the word about how everyone, everyday can keep it fun.”
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.