Elizabeth Cronan, the American Gaming Association's senior director of gaming policy explained the thoughts behind the code. "[Responsible gaming] is an everyday, year-round responsibility that we have to every player that walks through our doors and onto our casino floors….. We appreciate that this is an issue that must be top-of-mind industry-wide for all employees, from those who interact daily with consumers on the gaming floor to the senior executive leadership and the boards of directors."
The new code calls on casino operators to:
- take steps to make sure that patrons understand the odds of losing/winning the various games
- refrain from using any advertising that contains claims that gambling activity will guarantee a person's personal, social or financial success
- provide training requirements for employees on procedures for dealing with situations in which they see compulsive gambling behaviors, underage gambling and other issues
According to industry estimates, 98 percent to 99 percent of casino patrons gamble responsibly. It's the remaining one to two percent that attract attention and draw criticism of the casino industry.
Two of the most recent incidents include a Cleveland gambler who gunned down a Cleveland retiree and blamed his gambling addiction for his actions and a Philippines gambling addict whose debts and compulsions led him to attack a casino and shopping complex in Manila.
Acceptance of the code is voluntary but already, the members of the MGM Resorts International and members of Caesars Entertainment resort casinos have indicated that they will commit to the code.
Alan Feldman, executive vice president of global industry affairs for MGM Resorts International related to the new code. He said this code is the culmination of two decades of work in which the industry has focused on tackling the issue "when the fun stops." Feldman noted that his company is expanding its efforts to address such concerns. .
Feldman said that "... What we should be doing is having a regular ongoing dialogue with our customers to make sure that what they're doing is safe and fun for them and their families."
Terry Johnson of the Nevada Gaming Control Board said the next challenge for the industry that will involve recreational marijuana and its contribution to irresponsible gambling behaviors.