The state-licensed casinos in Iowa are participating in “Responsible Gaming Education Week.” Iowa Gaming Association president, Wes Ehrecke, says the week is aimed at customers and casino workers. “Really heighten awareness about the fact going to a casino should be about the fun and entertainment that it is intended to be,” he explains.
“Well over 98-percent of the people can do so, but for somebody that might be experiencing compulsive behavior, we want to showcase some of the resources that are available.” The theme of the week is “How Do YOu Say Responsible Gaming?” Ehrecke says in keeping with that theme, they’ve expanded foreign language responsible gaming brochures beyond the English and Spanish versions.
“Chinese and French, Korean and Vietnamese, plus having a video of understanding the odds and taking the mystery out of how slot machines work,” Ehrecke says. He says the video is available in many of the casinos and online at www.iowagaming.org.
Ehrecke says there is ongoing training throughout the year in the casinos, but they use this week to highlight the effort. “Collectively the 18 commercial casinos attract over 22-million visitors every year, we’re like Iowa’s largest tourist attraction collectively. And so we have to have a great entertainment experience,” Ehrecke says. He says the research continues to show 98-percent of the people gamble without problems. There are a number of resources for people who don’t fit into the 98-percent.
“There’s the 800-BETTS-OFF helpline, there’s the gambling treatment counseling agencies, we want to train our staff to better identify these individuals,” Ehrecke explains. The special activities for this week wrap up on Friday.