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20th Annual Responsible Gaming Education Week September 16-20 focuses on helpful consumer protection tools

Theme: "It’s Our Everyday Commitment"

The 2019 Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW) is September 16-20th at each of the 19 state-regulated licensed casinos who comprise the Iowa Gaming Association (IGA). Each location will tailor specific activities to heighten awareness and involve its staff and patrons.

This year’s primary RGEW theme that most casinos will use is: It’s our everyday commitment. “Especially with the launch of legalized sports wagering, this is a worthwhile opportunity to put added emphasis on the gaming industry’s year-around priority to promote responsible gaming;” said Wes Ehrecke, President & CEO, Iowa Gaming Association. “A very high percentage of patrons can visit a casino to enjoy its intended fun and entertainment; our industry will focus to help heighten awareness to make sure those who might be experiencing problems are aware of the tools and resources available.”

During RGEW, most casinos will partner with their area gambling prevention counseling provider to have an on-site presence to display brochures, interact with patrons and conduct staff training programs. The casinos are utilizing several creative ways to engage employees to learn responsible gaming intervention skills for how and when to approach, or come to the aid of those exhibiting compulsive behavior and better understand key resources available. Those activities will include daily quizzes with prizes, digital and social awareness, and a back-of-the-house e-learning training option.

This is the 20th year for the Iowa gaming industry’s focus on a responsible gaming education week. Caesars will also be celebrating its 30th Responsible Gaming anniversary as they were at the forefront nationwide three decades ago to create training resources, conduct significant research, develop minor age verification, and establishing responsible gaming ambassadors – having trained staff on every shift.

As a result of legislation passed to legalize sports wagering for patrons to bet on teams at a casino or on a statewide mobile app, even more consumer protections are now in place. “There is a tab on the mobile app for a person, if they so choose, to select the amount of time to be online, limit the amount of dollars that can be wagered and even request a 72-hour time out,” said Ehrecke.

Plus, casino staff will explain to patrons the self-exclusion reform allowing the choice to voluntarily ban themselves for either five years or a lifetime irrevocable option. “We want everyone to understand that voluntarily excluding themselves from gambling access will not prevent them to enjoy the many other additional amenities that comprise these premier casino entertainment destinations — such as lodging, restaurants, spas, concert and conference meeting space,” Ehrecke added.

Helpful resources continue to be developed by the Iowa Gambling Treatment program that focus on positive and responsible play tools to be utilized and shared by casino employees.

Ehrecke encouraged the public to check out the link YourLifeIowa.org. This website has a wealth of resources for those seeking assistance with problem gambling, as well as those wanting help or seeking answers with drugs, alcohol or suicide challenges. Plus calling 1-800-BETS OFF will help someone talk to a qualified counselor to assess the person’s situation.

“Iowa’s commercial casinos have always been proactive,” Ehrecke stated; “We have a successful premier prevention and awareness program in place partnering with the treatment providers and Iowa Gambling Treatment Program.”

For more information about getting help, visit the IGA Iowa Treatment Program page or Responsible Gaming Resources page at www.iowagaming.org.

From The
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20th Annual Responsible Gaming Education Week September 16-20 focuses on helpful consumer protection tools – Theme: ‘It’s Our Everyday Commitment’
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