Most individuals who gamble do so for pleasure and without difficulty. However, there are people who cannot gamble with control – problem gamblers. Working in the gambling industry, you will likely encounter someone with a gambling problem. It is important to understand the issues associated with problem gambling and how it impacts upon your patrons and your business. It is also essential to recognize that your employees can develop a gambling problem, even in instances when they may be restricted or prohibited from placing bets at your facility.
The gambling industry is in a unique position to positively impact upon a segment of the patron population who may be in need of assistance for a gambling problem. The approach is not to prohibit gambling, but to put into place programs to minimize the negative impact it will have on a percentage of gamblers who are unable to gamble with control.
Providing and promoting responsible gaming through continuous employee training is good customer service and may limit liability and risk for casino employees and facility operators. Problem gamblers cause problems for themselves AND the gaming venue. Media coverage about problem gambling related incidents, such as suicide and child neglect, serves in no one’s best interests and, at times, can present liability issues for operators. Good customer service entails responding to a customer who is in distress. There may be many reasons for their distress, but if it is a gambling problem, staff should be trained to provide specific assistance, such as providing a problem gambling brochure, notifying a supervisor, or other steps per company policy. Employees should also have access to information on problem gambling resources, responsible gambling, and an understanding of self-exclusion from venue.
The intent of a Responsible Gambling Program is to empower casino operators to devise a plan and related protocols to address varying situations that will emerge when encountering guests who are experiencing problems because of gambling. One of the roles of the FCCG is to assist the gambling industry in establishing customer and employee based problem gambling awareness programs. The FCCG’s Responsible Gambling and Player Protection Program (RGPPP) is a step-by-step comprehensive guide that helps the gaming industry navigate its way through conducting a self-assessment, devising an organizational philosophy, establishing an administrative and internal program structure, and developing problem and compulsive gambling policies and protocols.
Responsible gaming training and ongoing employee education is mandated by Florida statute for all state slot machine licensees. The FCCG has developed new hire and annual refresher training to help facilities adhere to the necessary regulations, and in turn provide an exceptional level of support for your patrons and employees. Casino employees are the eyes and ears of your daily operations and are often the first point of contact or first responder to guests. While employees are not counselors, they do provide liaison support to assure that patrons get the help they need while on the casino property.
Gaming industry employees are also known to be in the high risk group and are 5-10 times more likely to develop gambling problems than the general gambling population. For this reason, it is important for facility employees to have knowledge of resources for help specific for gaming industry staff available by internal and external programs/resources. Want to talk to FCCG about your facility’s RGPPP or training needs for employees? Click here to contact us!