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along and have a look at what we do, and you tell us if it’s good enough, are we doing the right things, are we doing enough of the right things? What are we doing wrong, and what more can we do? They spent three or four days with us, a day at head office looking at the procedures, speaking with he compliance team and myself, people in marketing, to see if we had genuinely got a culture of thinking about responsible gambling. Then we let them loose, and they visited three of our clubs on their own, completely without any chaperone from us, and spent time with our staff. We passed, and we passed well, though there were

recommendations. We are now looking at those and seeing perhaps the way we deliver our messages on responsible gambling could be improved; we could use different training techniques with our staff as well, for example. For us, it lays out a road map for training and development over the next two or three years. We were delighted to pass, we now have that seal of

approval so we can say ‘Playing Safe at Caesars’ on the front door of all of our premises. It should give some comfort to both players and the regulator – as well as to politicians, of course – that we are doing everything that we reasonably can to make sure the number of people who are impacted negatively by gambling reduces year on year, as far as casinos are concerned. We see no upside at all in running businesses where there is increasing concern about people spending more than they can afford and being irresponsible in their gambling.

CI: There have been quite a few initiatives to

avoid government intervention in gaming; what makes Playing Safe different? RR: It’s now over two years old so it’s not something that will fade away. We were led towards it by what

the government was saying prior to the triennial review; we want to see a step change. We opened our minds to it and did some ballsy stuff. We started having a forum where there wasn’t just our company sitting at the table, the Gambling Commission were there, the DCMS [Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the UK government body that gambling currently falls into] were there, people from the Care community… We had an open and frank discussion about what we wanted to achieve and it has given Playing Safe a degree of credibility that some other initiatives have failed to gain. It has been developed openly in front of the Gambling Commission, DCMS and the care community. Everybody has had the opportunity to comment and I think that is what gives it credibility. There is a lot of commitment from the compliance and corporate social responsibility teams in the companies within NCF as well.

CI: Where did you have to improve? RR: It was more on how you deliver. We had been a

bit staid in our methods, and not been as innovative as we might have been in delivering the message to our staff and trying to embed it that way. The only way that you can get the responsible gambling message across is to really try and work toward a culture of responsibility that grows up from the casino floor. It’s not good having one guy, a couple of guys or a team responsible for it; you have to make sure that when you are doing basic training, once the dealer has been taught how to deal whatever game, they are talking about the responsible gambling message and learning what to look out for. It’s like in a restaurant: it’s no good teaching someone how to be a chef if you don’t teach them basic kitchen hygiene at the same time.

What is Playing Safe? The British casino industry is committed to caring for its customers.

It wants the public, the government and its regulator -The Gambling Commission - to have confidence in the way it conducts its business To achieve this aim and to demonstrate unequivocally that it

embraces the spirit, as well as the letter of the 2005 Gambling Act, The British casino industry launched Playing Safe in 2013 Playing Safe was launched as a Statement of Principles. The Core Social Responsibility programme with its core elements has been developed in line with these principles Playing Safe expresses the casino industry’s commitment to doing

more than the minimum required by law to promote responsible gambling

The objective of the Playing Safe principles is to help operators

deliver their gambling products responsibly while continuing to grow and bring innovation to their businesses Built on seven core elements, the code is primarily intended to help

casino operators who are members of the National Casino Forum to develop their individual responsible gambling policies. The seven core elements are:

• RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING CULTURE AND GOVERNANCE Directors and managers will be advocates for responsible gambling and will work to embed a culture of responsible gambling in their organisations • PROTECTING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE We will protect children and young people by ensuring that both gaming and non- gaming staff accept their responsibility to prevent their entry to the casino • PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE We will help those who have problems with their gambling to exclude

themselves from casinos by

offering enrolment in a national voluntary self-exclusion scheme SENSE (Self-Enrolment National Self-Exclusion) • ADVICE AND INFORMATION FOR CUSTOMERS The advice and information we provide to customers will be clear, truthful, fair and socially responsible and will not misrepresent the risks associated with gambling • CUSTOMER INTERACTIONS We will interact with customers whose behaviour may indicate they have a problem with their gambling • MARKETING AND ADVERTISING We will be compliant with the law and regulations in the way we market, advertise and promote our businesses and will never target vulnerable groups or offer inappropriate incentives • TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT We will ensure our staff


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