During another session, Dr. Jon Kelly, former CEO of the Responsible Gambling Council, raised the point of how responsible gambling is now more than just helping the compulsive gambler; it is developing and implementing programming to prevent and reduce harm. Kelly also shared his perspective on how responsible gambling may be good for business and stressed that information, influence and informed decision-making will never be enough in responsible gambling. The industry must get inside the mind of the customer, and not just the ones that have problems, to properly understand and engage them in a safe way, he said.
Virtual reality therapy for problem gambling behavior was a hot topic at this year’s conference, for delegates and media alike. Dr. Stéphane Bouchard conducted several interviews on the topic and shared his insights, based on more than 20 years of research and expertise, which have helped inform understanding around player-focused programming and more innovative resources to prevent problem gambling.
A delegation from MGM Resorts International provided an overview of efforts to adopt and implement BCLC’s GameSense responsible gambling program at its casino resorts in Las Vegas last year. What stood out the most, according to Vice President Alan Feldman, was the incredible reception that GameSense received from both players and casino staff alike – both felt empowered. Feldman said that, as an industry, “We need to start having regular conversations with players about healthy play, not waiting until they have a problem.”
Casino operators from B.C., Massachusetts and MGM, who sat on a panel discussion about “RG culture,” echoed Feldman’s sentiment, and reinforced the guiding principle that “personalization and making responsible gambling part of the conversation” is one of the most important aspects of responsible gaming and, at its core, of good customer service.