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AGA Promotes Responsible Gaming

23 June 1998

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Grand Casinos, Inc. will donate $5,000 to sponsor the American Gaming Association's "Best Ideas Contest," a major element of the casino gaming industry's Responsible Gaming Education Week, designated for the week of August 3 – 7, 1998. In a related story, the AGA released the second edition of its Responsible Gaming Resource Guide.

In an effort to emphasize the casino gaming-entertainment industry's commitment to responsible gaming, the AGA has designated Responsible Gaming Education Week to actively promote responsible gaming practices within their companies. Casino companies and casino equipment manufacturers will be expected to participate in the efforts to promote responsible gaming.

As part of this effort, the AGA will hold a "Best Ideas Contest" for all AGA-member gaming employees to develop creative ways to promote responsible gaming. Grand Casinos, Inc. has offered to sponsor the contest by donating a total of $5,000 for the winning entries. The contest will be divided into five categories, including: 1) essay; 2) slogan; 3) education program; 4) fundraising activity; and 5) best original idea. For each category, the employee who submits the best idea will win $1,000. Additionally, the winners will have their entries displayed at the World Gaming Congress, featured in the AGA's newsletter and website, and included in a booklet on responsible gaming practices.

"We are pleased to support the effort of educating casino employees about the serious issue of disordered gambling behavior," said Tom Brosig, president and CEO of Grand Casinos, Inc. "Some of our company's very best ideas to promote responsible gaming have come from the front line—from the people who interact with casino guests every day.

A major tool for educating employees about problem gambling will come in the form of an educational brochure on disordered gambling and the importance of responsible gaming. Through the financial support of International Game Technology (IGT), a major supplier to the industry that is very active in promoting responsible gaming, the AGA will produce and distribute 200,000 educational brochures to gaming employees across the country.

To assist companies in the implementing a successful week of activities, the AGA will send information packets to AGA-member casino and manufacturer companies, which will include suggested weekly activities, a sample article for company newsletters, paycheck stuffers, flyers, posters and a contest entry form for the "Best Ideas Contest."

Responsible Gaming Education Week is an extension of the AGA's long-term "Responsible Gaming National Education Campaign, which was announced last October at the World Gaming Congress. The campaign is an effort to raise the level of awareness of the problems that exist and to educate casino employees and customers about the importance of responsible gaming.

Meanwhile, the AGA released the second edition of its Responsible Gaming Resource Guide on June 18 at the 12th National Conference on Problem Gambling in Las Vegas, Nevada, where international researchers, clinicians and gaming industry representatives gathered to discuss current programs on disordered gambling.

Originally published in 1996, the AGA's Resource Guide is a compilation of responsible gaming ideas, policies, procedures and programs that address disordered and underage gambling and the importance of responsible gaming. The guide was developed through the collaborative effort of the AGA's Responsible Gaming Task Force, a group of casino representatives responsible for much of the development and implementation of responsible gaming programs and policies throughout the industry.

Essentially, a "tool kit" or "instruction manual" for putting responsible gaming programs into place, the guide provides detailed information on what casino companies can and are doing to address problem and underage gambling. Casino operators, state gaming associations, state gaming councils and treatment professionals are among those that might find the guide useful to assist in creating or improving a current program.

The second edition of the Resource Guide has been updated to include several major additions and improvements. New sections address the issue of unattended children and minors in the casino environment, as well as an overview of responsible gaming programs specifically designed for gaming industry suppliers and vendors. A new chapter on the National Center for Responsible Gaming summarizes the Center's funding and ongoing research projects in the field of problem gambling. The Guide has also been updated to include a section on a new underage gambling prevention curriculum.

The guide will be available to AGA members for $35.00 a copy and to non-members for $50.00 a copy. Periodic updates will be available on the AGA's official website (www.americangaming.org).

The AGA represents the gaming-entertainment industry by addressing regulatory, legislative and educational issues. The association serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops aggressive educational and advocacy programs and provides leadership in addressing industry issues that are of public concern.

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