What Atlantic City casinos are supposed to do when they spot problem gamblers
The American Gaming Association has unveiled a new code of conduct on responsible gambling.
The code focuses on training gaming entity owners and employees to properly display the odds of winning and advertise responsibly, identify and help problem gamblers and prevent underage gambling.
During a news conference in Atlantic City on Tuesday, as part of the industry’s Responsible Gaming Education Week, Geoff Freeman, the president of the AGA, said the new code of conduct will help to ensure fairness, whether in an actual casino, at a racetrack on online.
“Our industry is committed to responsible gaming, to protect players, to protect our employees, to protect the communities in which we do business,” he said.
He said the code is a baseline for the gaming industry to meet “when it comes to protecting the very small percentage of customers who are not able to enjoy the gaming experience in a responsible fashion.”
He said part of the idea here is to make sure those with a problem are made aware of “where they can get help and how they can get help if they’re in need.”
Dave Rebuck, the director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, said the new code of conduct is a positive step forward because it will help to identify “individuals who struggle with gambling too much. They’re out of control and they’re really addicted to gambling, and they really have a problem.”
“The industry will have the responsibility for training all of its employees to identify behavioral traits, and quite honestly when you’re in a casino or at a racetrack, over time you begin to identify individuals you suspect may be having problems,” he said.
Freeman said previously a voluntary code of conduct had been established but the new code is more deliberate and specific.
“For any regulated industry you can sit back and wait for regulators to tighten the screws or you can take the lead on your own and that’s what the gaming industry has done here," he said.
“We’ve identified opportunities to strengthen our own efforts on responsible gaming, to adapt to the new technologies that are available and to make sure we account for the online interactive environments of today.”
Rebuck said a program that’s been started by MGM called Game Sense features individuals on the gaming floor who are trained to identify problem gamblers, so they can be offered assistance.
He said this kind of an effort is important because “our role is to do the best we can to work with people to make sure their life is not destroyed based on their addictions, and it’s a tough task.”
“Our job is to protect the citizens of the state of New Jersey as best we can and this is just another step that we can take to assist people who have a problem and try to get the proper treatment.”
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com