Each year, the American Gaming Association, our members and our industry partners dedicate a week to educating the public about our full-time commitment to responsible gaming. This year’s Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW) will take place September 15-21. It will provide a good opportunity to reflect on the work our industry does every day to promote responsibility in the 43 states with legal gaming.
Of course, the evolution of gaming is such that new properties open and markets expand regularly, which has only accelerated with the recent proliferation of legal sports betting. This means the gaming industry must continue to do what it has done better than anyone else: extend its commitments to our communities, to our employees and to our customers.
Annually, an estimated 35 percent of Americans enjoy the excitement and entertainment offered by the gaming industry. Acceptance of our mainstream form of entertainment is at an all-time high, which creates an opportunity for more patrons to directly see and experience our commitments to responsibility. From interactions with our well-trained workforce to literature in hotel rooms to voluntary restrictions on cash withdrawals to game play in general, guests at casinos nationwide and those participating in digital gaming where permitted are enjoying the safety of legal, regulated gaming in new ways.
Members of the AGA adhere to a strict Responsible Gaming Code of Conduct, a prerequisite for association membership and the standard by which all gaming operators in the U.S. should be measured. The set of standards includes provisions on employee assistance and training, alcohol service, casino games, sports betting, and the advertising and marketing of gambling. The code is a baseline, and our members have responsible gaming programs and commitments that exceed its core tenets.
Success in this key area will never mean our work is done, especially as the industry expands. With its legalization, sports betting puts our industry in the spotlight, making it even more important that responsibility remains at the center of our business. That’s why, shortly after the Supreme Court deemed the federal sports betting ban unconstitutional, our industry acted to expand our Responsible Gaming Code of Conduct to incorporate sports betting. Then, on the anniversary of that decision, AGA released the Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering. This code is the latest example of how our members strive to provide an experience that’s fun, exciting and importantly, enjoyed in a responsible manner.
The AGA and its members have an unwavering commitment to responsibility. We are committed to addressing problem gambling head-on to ensure that people who need help get help.
We invite all stakeholders in and around the industry, member or not, to join us in educating and engaging the public about responsible gaming. Responsibility is our shared responsibility.