LAS VEGAS, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- This year's Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW), observed Aug. 4–10, holds special significance for Caesars Entertainment. As the first company to recognize and address problem gambling, Caesars is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Operation Bet Smart, a program designed to formally train employees about the importance of responsible gaming and the role they play in bringing Caesars' responsible gaming programs to life.
"Caesars not only pioneered the industry's first policies and programs around responsible gaming, but continues to innovate and lead the way in advancing the field through training, advocacy and awareness initiatives," said Keith Whyte, executive director of National Council for Problem Gambling. "We congratulate everyone at Caesars on achieving this impressive milestone."
The American Gaming Association created RGEW in 1998 to promote responsible play and increase awareness about gambling disorders among the industry. While RGEW is only in its 17th year, Caesars' history of responsible gaming leadership traces back to the 1980's and is maintained through the continued development of increasingly robust tools and initiatives around the issue. For example, Caesars collaborated with the U.S. National Council on Problem Gambling in 1995 to launch toll-free telephone helplines, train staff and establish offices. These early efforts were recognized when the National Council on Problem Gambling recognized Caesars with its first corporate award. Later in 2000, the Gaming Hall of Fame bestowed its first-ever Special Achievement Award on Caesars for the company's leadership and innovative programs around responsible gaming.
"Our responsible gaming initiatives are informed by the latest science, evaluated objectively and created in conjunction with leading researchers, which is another first for the industry," said Jennifer Shatley, vice president of responsible gaming policies and compliance for Caesars Entertainment. "We are very proud of our achievements in the field and continue to invest time and resources to ensure that we offer the most robust programs and training for our frontline employees who are interacting with thousands of guests every day."
Operation Bet Smart includes the company's marketing and communication collateral, awareness initiatives and outreach programs designed to ensure that Caesars' business practices promote responsible gaming. Under the program, Caesars has trained and certified more than 200 Responsible Gaming Ambassadors (RGAs) across the U.S. The RGAs receive frontline employees' reports concerning customer comments, engage with guests that may not be gambling responsibly and offer resources for assistance. In alignment with scientific research on the issue, the programs emphasize reporting concerns and recognize that while individuals are accountable for their own behavior, casinos may exclude customers who are believed to be gambling irresponsibly. In addition to Operation Bet Smart, Caesars works to prevent underage gambling with Project 21. Employees of Caesars affiliates are trained to appropriately identify, approach, and validate the IDs of individuals who may be under 30 years of age. In addition, an "unattended children" policy addresses the issue of minors being left unsupervised inside Caesars' affiliated properties.
Caesars' notable achievements regarding Responsible Gaming include:
- Developing the first national self-exclusion program to honor player requests to be removed from mailing lists, to be denied check-cashing privileges and to be denied casino play privileges, both in casinos and online.
- Investing more than $3.4 million in Information Technology to reinforce the self-exclusion program, including the creation of "RG ID @ Slots," a tool that notifies RG teams when self-excluded patrons insert player cards into slot machines so that they may appropriately intervene.
- Launching the first television campaign focused entirely on responsible gaming awareness in 2002, featuring senior company executives as well as frontline employees reinforcing the importance of gambling within a budget, being of legal age and playing strictly for entertainment.
- Employing the most restrictive advertising code in the industry.
- Requiring all employees at gaming venues to complete responsible gaming training in structured learning programs within 30 days of employment.
- Earning the Responsible Gambling Council's first gaming venue accreditation for Caesars Windsor =in Canada.
- Developing the casino industry's first formal social responsibility code of conduct in 2000, which served as the model for the American Gaming Association's Code of Conduct that was enacted in 2003.
Caesars' commitment to responsible gaming is rooted in corporate citizenship, which serves to guide the creation of better experiences for its guests, employees and communities. Caesars wants everyone who gambles within the company's casinos to be there for the right reasons—to simply have fun.
In honor of Responsible Gaming Education Week, Caesars has activities planned at each resort that help to improve knowledge about problem gambling and the resources available, while honoring the dedicated employees who work hard to provide a positive experience for all.
For more information about Caesars' Corporate Citizenship programs, visit www.caesars.com/codegreen.
About Caesars Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the world's most geographically diversified casino-entertainment company. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 75 years ago, Caesars has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on four continents. The company's resorts operate primarily under the Harrah's®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names. Caesars Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its guests through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. Caesars is committed to environmental sustainability and energy conservation and recognizes the importance of being a responsible steward of the environment. For more information, please visit Caesars.com.
SOURCE Caesars Entertainment