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8/3/2015

19 Licensed Commercial Casinos Participate in 16th Annual Responsible Gaming Education Week August 3-7

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This year’s Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW) will be held August 3-7 at each of the 19 state-regulated licensed casinos. Each casino location will offer several activities to heighten awareness and involve its staff and patrons. One primary theme is Partnering with their Treatment Provider. 

“The theme is intended to showcase the close working relationship that exists between the casinos and the gambling treatment counselors,” said Wes Ehrecke, President and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association. “Casinos want to promote—with employees and patrons alike—that a high majority of people coming to a casino can do so as responsible, fun entertainment.” 

Ehrecke adds that for those experiencing gambling problems, this partnership helps to assure he or she has the right expertise to talk to. It also encourages casino staff to be better trained to know the warning signs and ways to properly intervene. 

Each casino property will work closely with its area gambling treatment provider by extending an invitation to display brochures, interact with patrons and conduct training programs. Employees will learn how and when to approach or come to the aid of those exhibiting compulsive behavior, and learn intervention skills. 

Initiatives to heighten awareness will take place at the casino properties throughout the week and include training for employees. Staff will learn how to help foster a better understanding and develop a personal connection for the importance of promoting responsible gaming throughout the year. 

“Research consistently shows that less than 2 percent of those who gamble experience gambling problems,” Ehrecke said. “It is important for those who are prone to compulsive gambling to have avenues for securing help from the gambling treatment experts by calling 1-800-BETSOFF or visiting 1800betsoff.org.” 

The Iowa Department of Public Health's Iowa Gambling Treatment Program (IGTP) recently released its annual report, compiled by the University of Northern Iowa Center for Social and Behavior research. It shows continued success at treating problem gambling. According to the report, 92 percent of those treated reported reduced signs of problem gambling. 

All services are outpatient, but there are also e-therapy services or distance-treatment services to assure that anyone who needs help can access it. 

“Iowa has always been at the forefront in being proactive in creating a number of ways to help treat problem gambling,” Ehrecke said. “It is certainly a worthwhile, ongoing effort to successfully partner with the treatment providers and IGTP.” 

For more information about getting help, visit our Iowa Treatment Program page or Responsible Gaming Resources page.

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