This Tuesday saw the statement that people who suffer from gambling addictions might be victims of the way the industry works. Bo J. Bernhard, a Professor on Responsible Gambling explained that the bad state of the gambling regulation in gaming hubs such as Macau and Las Vegas is the reason why people have much bigger access to participating in gaming activities and thus their chance of developing addictions are surging.
Mr. Bernhard is an Executive Director of the UNLV International Gaming Institute and he clarified that the rates of gambling addiction in places where people gather to play are not higher by default. This means that addictions are not entirely caused by internal drives, but also they are driven by the environment and the rules which apply to it. According to the professor, convenience gambling which is readily available for anyone to participate in is able to amass more revenue and social costs than the gambling in integrated resorts.
The closer a gambling location is to the people, the more interest it is going to attract. Mr. Bernhard said that there are different types of problem gambling and they have their unique nuances in relation to the triggers they have. The integrated resorts in the big tourist locations reportedly demonstrate lower social costs in comparison to the more approachable local gambling, such as fruit machines in the UK or the notorious pokies in Australia. In its essence, gambling addiction is sparked by the exposure to gaming, which means that the players are spending longer periods of time playing and those instances are more frequent.
Effects on People Working in the Industry
The constant exposure to gambling is one of the reasons why the employees of casino venues often fall for the gambling trap very easily. In relation to the recent proposal of restricting the access of those employees to the casino venue outside of working hours, Prof. Bernhard said that it might help reduce the scale of the problem. He often speaks in front of people interested at the Sands China Responsible Gaming Team Training course and gives the employees a piece of his mind while educating them about the risks of gambling.
Pierre Lai and Shadow Lou are part of the gaming staff in a casino venue and they recently finished the informative course which involved role-play exercises used to reinforce the acquired knowledge. Their mentor, Romeu Julio do Espirito Santo confirmed that this approach is an important part of the educational process and it gives the participants the feeling that they are well-prepared to reach in an adequate manner in a similar real-life situation. Prof. Bernhard also mentioned that the conversation between colleagues regarding their gambling habits might be trickier than one addressing a patron of the casino.