On August 3rd, the American Gaming Association released documentation for a new code of conduct for responsible (casino) gambling to the West Coast region and a panel of industry representatives explained how they would like customers to have fun without falling into the dangerous clutches of compulsive gambling obsession.
Representatives of the American Gaming Association, Everi Holdings, MGM Resorts International, William Hill, and the state Gaming Control Board have gathered together for a conference at UNLV's International Gaming Institute by Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani and Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.
The new 4-page policy promises to promote responsible gaming amongst patrons, prevent the occurrence of underage gambling and unsupervised minors in casinos, and to advertise and serve alcohol responsibly.
The code also has guidelines for casino operators to educate employees regarding their responsibilities, promises the general public to continue with researching about problem gambling, and update the code with every technological advancement annually.
The American Gaming Association is a group of tribal and commercial casino operators, suppliers and other bodies affiliated with the $240 billion-per-year USA casino industry, which supports an incredible 1.7 million jobs within 40 states.
The new code has been introduced first in Atlantic City on August 1st.
The difference of this new release from the previous 1-page version of the code of conduct is that it now includes all types of mobile and interactive gaming and also land-based casinos. The new version also includes new consumer protection measures with improved transparency on casino payouts and gaming odds, and also making sure that marketing and advertisements do not wrongly represent the probability of winning.
However, the newly improved code faces a few challenges.
Around 67% of tribal casinos and 10% of the commercial casino industry are not members of the American Gaming Association; but the association's senior director of gaming policy Elizabeth Cronan said that most non-members do follow their policies.
There is actually no punishment or incentive to make casinos to observe and follow the code, and the constantly-evolving technology moves faster than policies which can hardly keep up.
The association has promised to provide informative data for universities to continue conducting research on excessive or compulsive gambling. Researchers even say that occasionally, they find policy changes have unintentionally backfired, making a problem even worse.
In Australia, one feature made to slow down the slot machines' spinning reels to facilitate slow play and help gamblers have "a breather" actually resulted to them playing a lot longer than expected.
Skeptics also pointed out that they strongly believe casino companies do not have the means or capability to turn away players who play compulsively.
Control board member Terry Johnson said discussions between Nevada gaming regulators will commence this month on many topics related to Nevada's new recreational marijuana law.
The code stipulates casinos must not knowingly serve alcoholic drinks to visibly-intoxicated people nor allow gambling of a visibly-intoxicated individual. However, spotting a gambler high on marijuana might be a more challenging task.