Gaming Industry Initiatives

rga-logoGreetings:

Governor Christine Gregoire urges all citizens of Washington to join her in special observance of March 7th-13th as National Problem Gambling Awareness Week (PGAW).  As gaming operators, it is extremely important that all of us in the industry do our part to increase awareness on this issue.

Most people who gamble do so for recreation and suffer no problems.  However, for a small percentage gambling becomes a serious addiction.  While the percentage is small, we in the gaming industry have all seen people with this problem.  Studies indicate gambling industry employees have an even higher incidence of developing gambling addictions than other populations.  As responsible business owners we have a role to play in addressing this issue.  Enclosed are copy ready paycheck stuffers for your use to raise awareness about this issue among your employees.

Problem Gambling is gambling that has serious, long-term negative consequences in a person’s life.  Pathological Gamblers are the most seriously affected, losing total control over their gambling.  Problem Gamblers face higher rates of suicide, bankruptcy, and family disruption.

Enclosed is the SAVE THE DATE for the 24th Annual Conference on Problem Gambling Prevention, Research, Recovery & Treatment on June 9th-12th held at the Hilton Hotel & Executive Tower in Portland.  The conference is Co-Sponsored by Oregon Council on Problem Gambling and Oregon Department of Human Services.  Please either plan to attend personally or have an employee(s) represent you at this important conference.

It is up to all of us in the gaming industry to continue to do our part.  You can help during Problem Gambling Awareness Week by posting the enclosed Problem Gambling posters in prominent locations, educating yourself using the enclosed materials, inserting the stuffers with your employee’s paychecks, and adopting the Industry Working Group’s policy recommendations.

Studies indicate that with education, awareness, and treatment programs in place the rate of problem gambling can actually be lowered even when more opportunities are made available.  As you may know, a small percentage (0.13%) of your B&O taxes goes towards a state program of treatment, education and awareness through the Department of Social & Health Services’ Division of Behavioral Health & Recovery.

Please help support Problem Gambling Awareness Week.  IT is not only good public relations—it is the right thing to do.  Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,
Chris Kealy, President
Dolores A. Chiechi, Executive Director

Policy Recommendations For Washington Gaming Establishments*

  • Adopt a Problem Gambling Policy or Mission Statement
  • Designate a manager or owner to deal with Problem Gambling issues
  • Institute employee Problem Gambling Awareness Training – For more information, contact ECPG at 360-352-6133
  • Establish a Self-Exclusion (Self-Banning) policy enabling Problem Gamblers to voluntarily ban themselves from gaming facilities
  • Do not market to those on the Self-Exclusion list
  • Make certain that the Helpline number (1-800-547-6133) is posted, as required by law, and post other Problem Gambling informational materials (available free of charge from the RGA)
  • Include Problem Gambling coverage in any employee assistance programs
  • Support the work of the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling or other organizations assisting Problem Gamblers

*Developed by the Washington Gaming Industry Working Group