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Playing Safe T

he UK’s National Casino Forum developed its ACE (accreditation, certification, evaluation) scheme in 2013, working under the banner Playing Safe. It presented an opportunity for gaming companies to

enjoy an independent assessment of their responsible gaming credentials. Ultimately, it allows an operator to improve player experience and to recognise and assist vulnerable individuals. Tracy Damestani, CEO of NCF said: “We have been working hard for more than two years on a whole menu of Playing Safe initiatives all intended to ensure the casino sector remains in the lead in offering UK casino customers the safest gambling environments in the world. We think we are achieving that but last year the industry decided it wanted the kind of reassurance that can only be delivered through independent oversight, so we are delighted we were able to establish the Playing Safe ACE panel with such a distinguished and credible group of assessors.” Under the hugely experienced and expert chair of Professor Yvonne Guerrier and with Dr Guy Bohane and Tom Kavanagh, a former Deputy CEO of the Gambling Commission, the ACE panellists have broad and deep experience of the gambling industry both from a regulatory and academic perspective. Of Caesars’ assessment, Professor Guerrier said: “The company was very open. We were given access to all the company’s policies and

the training regime. We saw the people who we believed to be pivotal in delivering gambling responsibly, obviously including the compliance team but, also the managing director, the marketing and HR directors and numerous people of various grades and job descriptions delivering front line services in three casinos. We were impressed with what we found at Caesars. The commitment and knowledge base of the staff was of a high standard. We made some recommendations for improvements but overall it was very good and we were confident in awarding the accreditation.”

Roy Ramm, former Governance and Public Affairs

Director, Caesars Entertainment, spoke to Casino International about the company’s experience of working with ACE and what it means to Caesars.


Caesars Entertainment UK recently became the first UK gambling company to earn an endorsement of its responsible gaming credentials from independent body ACE

Casino International: Some other areas of gambling – notably bookmakers – are being blamed for tarnishing gambling’s name in the UK; do you think it’s the casino sector’s responsibility to show the rest of the gambling sector how to behave? Roy Ramm: I wouldn’t say it’s our responsibility to

show other sectors, but I would say it’s absolutely in our interest to do so. I don’t think we owe anything to the other sectors, but it is in our absolute direct commercial interest to do something about it. There is no doubt that if you look at the position of the political parties, both from the left and right, there is growing concern about the negative effects of gambling and we have to make sure that we can demonstrate that we are doing all we can to minimise and mitigate those risks and be seen as good corporate citizens who care about our customers. If others don’t see that, if they don’t recognise the

value in protecting your brand and sector, they are missing a commercial opportunity. Ultimately the regulators, I think from all that we have heard over the last year or so and all we have heard from government, are going to get tougher, things are not going to get easier.

CI: I know Caesars are very forward thinking in

some respects; Caesars UK has become the first UK gambling company to be accredited by an independent assessor. How did that come about? RR: Yes, that’s right. Through the National Casino

Forum [NCF] we have tried to think of ways we can improve the credibility of the sector and demonstrate that what we think we are doing well enough, is good enough. Through NCF we decided we would create something called the ACE panel: accreditation, certification and evaluation. That panel comprises Mr Tom Kavanagh, former secretary to what was the Gaming Board, and then assistant CEO of the Gambling Commission; additionally, we have Professor Yvonne Guerrier and Dr Guy Boharne, both of whom are well-respected academics who have done a lot of work on responsible gambling and the problems caused by gambling. We invited them to form the panel – and we are very lucky that they did – and we said, as far as Caesars is concerned, come

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