In December of last year, Hard Rock International (HRI) and Seminole Gaming introduced a training program for its employees that is designed to focus on all aspects of the gambling experience. The PlayersEdge education program was the first to be launched by any US-based gaming operator, and HRI and Seminole have now been recognized for their efforts. The U.S. National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has presented the casino operators with its Corporate Social Responsibility Award in response to the broad initiative.
The award was announced during NCPG’s Digital Symposium and National Awards Ceremony, which was held July 20-30. The PlayersEdge program goes well beyond the aspects of potential problem gambling, like most programs do, encompassing an education curriculum developed to address everyone from novice and casual gamblers, to experienced regulars. It includes topics such as casino etiquette, facts and stats related to gaming, risk identification and better gaming habits. In line with the NCPG’s primary goal, it also gives casino employees the tools needed to help gamblers self-exclude when they want and recommendations on counseling centers.
HRI Chair and Seminole CEO Jim Allen said in a statement, “We want to thank the National Council on Problem Gambling for this award and for recognizing the PlayersEdge program. We also want to acknowledge the Florida Council for Compulsive Gambling, our Vice President of Global Social Responsibility, Paul Pellizzari, and Dr. Rory Reid of UCLA for their help in creating the PlayersEdge training.”
The NCPG has held the awards ceremonies for several decades, and this event took place as part of a symposium that is included in a larger responsible gaming conference. The 34th National Conference on Gambling Addiction & Responsible Gambling will hold its main event, as well as new master classes, this coming November in Washington, DC, right after the national elections. Last month’s symposium drew international attendance and included participation by 35 states, as well as Australia, Austria, Bermuda, Canada, the U.K. and more.
In addition to HRI and Seminole, there were a number of other award recipients in different categories. The Illinois Lottery was singled out for its Holiday Responsible Gaming Campaign, Ohio’s gambling awareness initiative, Ohio for Responsible Gambling, took home both the Corporate Website and Corporate Public Awareness awards, and the California Council on Problem Gambling picked up an Affiliate Website award.
According to the PCPG’s website, the symposium offered “high-quality educational sessions with 25 experts and innovators in 29 sessions, offering attendees up to 16 Continuing Education Units. Treatment providers for disordered gambling are required to attend sessions approved for gambling-specific CEUs for licensure each year, which are currently very difficult to obtain due to the pandemic. The program was designed for stakeholders from government agencies, gaming operators and suppliers, treatment providers, research and academic groups, and the recovery community.”