Casino Industry Highlights Responsible Gaming Week, But Is It Doing Enough?

Promoting responsible gaming should be a priority 365 days a year, but every so often it’s important to highlight it. That’s exactly what happens during Responsible Gaming Education Week, which runs from September 15-21.

RGEW is presented by the American Gaming Association and its members.  The goal of RGEW is to provide the AGA and its members with an “opportunity to showcase our dedication to responsible gaming programs… [and] to refresh employee training, promote transparency and gaming literacy to customers and work with community partners on advancing responsible gaming initiatives.”

Two prominent AGA members, MGM and Caesars, kicked off RGEW by touting their efforts on the responsible gaming front.

MGM and GameSense

One company that has gone above and beyond is MGM. MGM first implemented the GameSense program across its properties in 2017, after getting a close-up look at the program in Massachusetts.

Two years later, MGM is pleased to announce an important GameSense milestone: 1 million customer interactions.

“Our conversations with guests are not only about encouraging responsible play but improving guest relationships and providing world-class service,” MGM Resorts’ executive director of responsible gambling, Rich Taylor, said in the press release. “I’m so proud of our teams, especially the GameSense Advisors, who deliver GameSense to our guests every day.”

Caesars Celebrates 30 Years of Responsible Gaming

Caesars has also started RGEW with a press announcement of its own, “pledging more than $1 million to the National Center for Responsible Gaming and other third-party institutions in the U.S. and elsewhere to help further advance and shape the future of responsible gaming.”

The pledge comes on the thirtieth anniversary of Caesars’ foray into responsible gaming.

“Thirty years ago, Caesars Entertainment took the initiative to create the first responsible gaming program, serving our guests who could no longer play for fun. We were determined to provide meaningful solutions for problem and underage gaming,” said Jan Jones Blackhurst, Executive VP of Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility at Caesars Entertainment in a press release. “Since then, we have continuously invested in cutting-edge research, training and technology to create a holistic program that respects the privacy of our guests who need our intervention. We view Responsible Gaming as the concern of all Caesars’ team members; it is central to how we operate as a business.”

Caesars Responsible Gaming The press release also highlighted Caesars prior achievements on the responsible gaming front from first-of-their-kind training programs, to implementing a nationwide self-exclusion, to setting up the first nationwide toll-free helpline:

Is It Enough?

Voluntarily establishing responsible programming at your properties or donating $1 million is nothing to sneeze at, and MGM and Caesars should be applauded for their current, and past efforts. As should the AGA. But there is a lot more they can be doing.

Most states have the set floor very low when it comes to responsible gaming and problem gambling. That leaves it up to the industry to raise the bar. The national adoption of GameSense and seven-figure pledges should only be the beginning.

The end goal should be to meet the National Council on Problem Gambling’s 1% of gambling revenue target going towards problem gambling and responsible gaming programs, research, and treatment.

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