JEFFERSON CITY, MO – During the 15th annual Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW), July 30 to August 4, Missouri casino employees will serve as responsible gaming ambassadors as casinos focus on the gaming industry’s “All In” corporate social responsibility campaign.
Responsible Gaming Education Week was created by the American Gaming Association (AGA) in 1998 to promote responsible gaming and increase awareness of problem gambling issues among employees and customers nationwide.
“Responsible gaming is an ongoing priority of Missouri casino employees, from top executives to front-line team members,” said Mike Winter, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Association. “This year, our focus is on educating casino employees so they can share responsible gaming messages with their families, friends and casino patrons.”
As part of that effort, the American Gaming Association is inviting casino employees to convey what responsible gaming means to them through essays, posters and video messages. Winning submissions will be posted on the AGA website.
Missouri casinos also will provide free responsible gaming brochures and other materials at every casino property during Responsible Gaming Education Week. Brochures include “The House Advantage: A Guide to Understanding the Odds,” “Taking the Mystery Out of the Machine: A Guide to Understanding Slot Machines” and “Keeping It Fun: A Guide to Responsible Gaming.”
“The House Advantage: A Guide to Understanding the Odds,” explains the casino’s “house advantage,” the mathematical probabilities of various popular games and other factors a player should take into account when gambling, such as the amount wagered, the time spent playing a game and, to a degree, a player’s skill at certain games. The brochure also busts common myths such as so-called gambling “hot streaks.”
The AGA and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) are teaming this year on a research-based guidebook for human resources and employee assistance professionals with answers to frequently asked questions about gambling disorders and responsible gaming. The free guidebook is available for download at www.ncrg.org/gamblingandhealth.
The Missouri Gaming Association and its casino company members sponsor and fund year-round programs to address responsible gaming issues. Every Missouri casino property has a designated employee who serves as the director of responsible gaming programs for that location.
Missouri responsible gaming programs include:
• 1-888-BETSOFF – a statewide telephone crisis line and referral service for problem gambling.
• Project 21 – a scholarship competition that addresses underage gambling;
• Operation Bet Smart – an awareness program that focuses on compulsive gambling;
• Alcohol Awareness Programs – promote responsible consumption of alcohol.
In addition to distributing materials to patrons, Missouri casinos also will participate in Responsible Gaming Education Week with these activities:
Ameristar Casino-Hotel in Kansas City and St. Charles will gear up excitement and inform team members about responsible gaming information through their internal television circuit, bulletin boards, pre-shift meetings, employee newsletter and a quiz with cash prizes. All Ameristar team members will wear RGEW ribbons to encourage conversations with patrons. Any team member who wins the AGA contest will be awarded a cash prize from Ameristar.
Isle of Capri-Kansas City will display the AGA responsible gaming presentation in the employee dining room and on the property-shared computer drive. Team members will sign an acknowledgment that they viewed the presentation, which also includes alcohol awareness (TIPS) and underage patron refreshers. Employees also will have a chance to win prizes by completing a responsible gaming word search and cryptogram.
Lady Luck Casino – Caruthersville – General Manager Lyle Randolph will appear on the gaming floor as the “Answer Man,” dressed in a colorful suit covered with question marks. Randolph will randomly quiz employees about responsible gaming and offer prizes from a prize bag. Lady Luck has trained supervisors and managers who will distribute RGEW information and materials to employees. Posters will be displayed in break rooms and new employees will be oriented on the importance of responsible gaming. All Lady Luck employees will be encouraged to participate in educational games for prizes and to enter the AGA poster, essay, and video contest. A proclamation from the Mayor of the City of Caruthersville also is planned.
Mark Twain Casino will educate employees through the AGA responsible gaming presentation.
Harrah’s St. Louis Casino will spread Caesars Entertainment’s commitment to responsible gaming by encouraging employees to review brochures and participate in quizzes and competitions for prizes. Harrah’s will display the 2012 Project 21 Scholarship-winning video “Burning Money” by Hillcrest High School student Jamie Blaine of Springfield to raise awareness about the impact of illegal underage gambling. A “guess the numbers” game will focus on art sculptures created from hundreds cancelled playing cards and dice. Harrah’s also will educate employees on resources by putting stickers with the Employee Assistance Program and Missouri’s “1-888 BETS-OFF” helpline numbers on cancelled playing cards.
Harrah’s North Kansas City employees will wear wristbands in support of RGEW and will participate in a responsible gaming quiz and other competitions for prizes.
St. Jo Frontier Casino will discuss responsible gaming education at pre-shift meetings with line employees, supervisors and managers. Employees will wear RGEW ribbons and stickers to educate patrons. St. Jo also will display a large banner, host an information booth with posters and brochures, and display RGEW table tents in restaurant and bars.
Argosy Casino Riverside – Riverside Mayor Kathy Rose has declared July 30 through August 3 “Responsible Gaming Education Week” in Riverside. Posters, educational materials, guest receipts and an Ultimate Texas Hold’em instructional game at the casino entrance will promote responsible gaming to patrons. The Argosy website and Facebook page also will include information and a link to the AGA website. Employees will be trained at pre-shift meetings, wear campaign ribbons and compete in responsible gaming educational games for prizes.
Pinnacle Entertainment’s River City and Lumière Place Casinos in St. Louis will offer informational brochures to guests at their mychoice® player’s club and cashier locations. Employees will learn more about responsible gaming during daily pre-shift meetings and activities sheets, reinforcing the ongoing responsible gaming training provided year-round at all Pinnacle Entertainment properties.
The Missouri Gaming Association (MGA) is the statewide trade association of the Missouri casino entertainment industry and its related professionals. Formed in 1993, the Missouri Gaming Association provides research and information to increase awareness of the economic benefits of Missouri’s casinos. For more information, visit www.missouricasinos.org.