August 5, 2017
By Geoff Freeman
This week, to mark the 20th anniversary of Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW), the American Gaming Association (AGA) hosted two events to highlight the industry’s commitment to this important issue. From July 31-August 4, the collective casino gaming industry comes together to reiterate foundational and evergreen responsible gaming education, programming and awareness with employees, patrons, policymakers, regulators and the public at large. However, responsible gaming is more than just a weeklong event; It’s Our Commitment. Every Day.
In summary, AGA:
- Released an updated version of our Responsible Gaming Code of Conduct;
- Coalesced industry stakeholders to highlight shared commitment to responsible gaming; and
- Held two industry roundtable events emphasizing the industry’s commitment to responsible gaming and highlighting the significance of the updated Code of Conduct.
AGA’s commitment to responsible gaming will continue throughout the year and we will continue to underscore the industry’s commitment to this important issue by engaging with our members and the industry at large. In-depth recaps of the events are below.
Stockton University Event
Gaming industry stakeholders and local media packed a standing room only space at Stockton University to hear remarks from:
- Jim Florio, former New Jersey Governor;
- Dave Rebuck, director, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement;
- Dean Hestermann, corporate director for issues management, Caesars Entertainment;
- Patrick Harris, MGM Resorts International; and
- Russell Sanna, executive director, National Center for Responsible Gaming.
Dave Rebuck kicked off the panel by highlighting that responsible gaming is of critical importance to the state of New Jersey. Former Governor Florio commended the industry’s work “in regard to responsible gaming.” Panel participants noted that responsible gaming practices are for everyone in the industry, that a vast majority of those who play casinos games do so responsibly and within budget and that responsible gaming programs are a way to leverage customer service skills and employee dedication.o
The Press of Atlantic City highlighted AGA’s industry-led updated Code of Conduct, which “provides guidelines to increase industry efforts and build a greater cohesive dialogue among industry stakeholders on responsible gambling.” SNJ Today noted that “officials hope the new code of conduct will shape the industry’s responsible gaming efforts in the future.” CDC Gaming Reports said the event “sought to shine light on how the industry is voluntarily being proactive in finding innovative ways to protect its customers.”
University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Event
Gaming industry leaders gathered in the Casino Lab at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute to hear from:
- Dina Titus, U.S. Representative, Nevada’s 1st District;
- Chris Giunchigliani, commissioner, Clark County;
- Terry Johnson, board member, Nevada Gaming Control Board;
- Bo Bernhard, executive director, UNLV International Gaming Institute;
- Elizabeth Cronan, senior director of gaming policy, AGA;
- Alan Feldman, executive vice president, MGM Resorts International;
- Tim Richards, senior vice president of payments innovation, Everi; and
- Dan Shapiro, vice president of strategy and business development, William Hill.
The panel discussed how the industry can be more proactive in pushing responsible gaming practices and how a legal, regulated sports betting market will put consumer protections in place so those betting won’t be taken advantage of by illegal bookies.
The Associated Press highlighted the “new code of conduct with consumer protection measures that it says are meant to promote responsible gambling.” The article noted that “the code also includes training requirements for casino employees.” The Las Vegas Review-Journal noted that the new code “pledges to promote responsible gaming to customers.” The Las Vegas Sun wrote that AGA has “dedicated more time and resources toward the issue” of responsible gaming.