Sands China oversees 122 staff trained in responsible gaming

Casino operator Sands China yesterday wrapped up its seventh annual Responsible Gaming Ambassador Advanced Training program, adding 122 certified employees to its growing ambassador roster.

Over the course of the two-day event, the trainees were taught how to detect the early signs of problem gambling, as well as how to provide the appropriate response and assistance to patrons exhibiting these signs.

The trainees were taught intervention tactics and crisis management skills and had the chance to try out the techniques in roleplay simulations.

Participants were also educated on the procedures of the self-exclusion and third-party exclusion programs, and were introduced to the 24-hour gaming counselling services provided by Sheng Kung Hui.

The program is led by responsible gambling expert Professor Bo J. Bernhard, executive director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) International Gaming Institute.

Bernhard told the Times that he has observed a rapid transformation in the way responsible gambling is treated in Macau since the program’s inception in 2013. To keep up, he and his team are fine-tuning the program each year based on the participant feedback and the evolving science.

Professor Bernhard also thanked lawmaker and gaming professor Davis Fong yesterday for his contributions to the program over successive years. Fong heads the University of Macau’s Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming.

According to company representatives, over 600 responsible gaming ambassadors have been trained since the advanced training program began in 2013.

The program is held to support the measures advocated by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, according to Sands China. New and enhanced elements are integrated each year.

Enrolment in the program was extended to all manager- level and other senior employees this year, including those from departments such as gaming, marketing, security, human resources, food and beverage, and guest services.

“This type of event shows our company’s commitment to responsible gaming efforts. The establishment of a new department like the responsible gambling team is a part of that effort,” Winnie Wong, Chief Responsible Gaming Officer at Sands China, told the Times on the sidelines of the event. “We want to lead industry standards [in terms of responsible gambling], and not just meet but exceed the Macau government’s expectations.”

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