Last month, the American Gaming Association convened the 22nd annual Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW), showcasing our industry’s everyday commitment to protecting consumers, educating employees, and promoting vibrant communities. This year’s RGEW was particularly special—featuring new investments, first-time congressional engagement, and historic commitments to advance research.
We all know gaming is expanding at a rapid pace. The industry is addressing this growth in effective and innovative ways—and people are taking note of these efforts.
Recognition for our work has reached the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C., where U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) addressed RGEW in the Congressional Record for the first time. Titus detailed the industry’s priorities as a firsthand observer of the great work that has been done in her home state of Nevada, saying, “The gaming industry goes to great lengths to make sure employees are trained in best practices for recognizing and dealing with problem gaming and patrons are aware of options for help if they need it.”
The AGA held a Get to Know Gaming event with U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD) in Maryland, which has quickly grown into one of the country’s biggest gaming markets. MGM National Harbor served as a fitting backdrop to the RGEW discussion given everything the Maryland gaming industry and MGM Resorts International have done to promote safe and responsible behavior.
MGM recently surpassed 1 million interactions in its GameSense program nationwide, which trains employees to have direct conversations with gaming customers before a problem might start.
At another Get to Know Gaming event—hosted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ International Gaming Institute—AGA and MGM announced founding donations of $100,000 to launch the National Center for Responsible Gaming’s Fund to Support Research and Sports Wagering. AGA members GVC Holdings Plc., Hard Rock International, IGT and William Hill US, in addition to NASCAR, also made significant contributions. The new fund is the first dedicated solely to expanding research on responsible gaming in sports betting, helping deepen our understanding of effective practices in new and existing markets alike.
AGA members continued to make headlines during RGEW. Caesars Entertainment Corp. marked a major milestone, celebrating its 30th year of responsible gaming programs. To commemorate the anniversary, they pledged more than $1 million to responsible gaming efforts.
In addition, AGA member Gaming Laboratories International, in conjunction with the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, announced a $200,000 donation to the Dr. Robert Hunter International Problem Gambling Center. This is all in addition to the creative employee training, local events and social media discussion that took place at casinos across the country.
RGEW 2019 reflects an industry that prioritizes responsible gaming as an integral part of everyday operations. Thank you to everyone who participated in this historic week.