San Manuel Tribe Signs On To New Effort To Help Casinos Build Comprehensive Responsible Gaming Programs

Feb 12, 2009

WASHINGTON—The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians in Highland, Calif., has joined the Partnership for Excellence in Education and Responsible Gaming (PEER), a newly-launched program that will equip gaming entities with the one-of-a-kind tools required to develop effective and exemplary responsible gaming programs. PEER is a dynamic program created by the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG).

“As we continue to expand our casino operation, we want to maintain a leadership position in service to our casino guests, team members and the community. We believe that joining the PEER program will enhance the entertainment experience for everyone who visits or is a part of the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino,” said James Ramos, chairman of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.

The PEER program is based on the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming – adopted by the AGA in 2003 – and accompanying resource guide, one of the world’s most respected and comprehensive responsible gaming programs. Through a unique partnership between the AGA and the NCRG, the PEER program adapts the content of the resource guide for a wider casino audience, providing PEER members with the tools required to develop and implement a world-class program in order to meet federal, state and tribal government requirements.

“We welcome the participation of the San Manuel Band in the PEER program,” said Glenn Christenson, chairman of the NCRG. “PEER was developed to help casinos develop responsible gaming programs that will truly have impact. Even more than meeting regulatory requirements, a sound approach to responsible gaming helps an organization demonstrate its commitment to its employees, patrons and community.”

San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, an enterprise of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, has been a premier gaming establishment in Southern California since 1986. San Manuel draws approximately 2.2 million visitors each year.

As members of the PEER program, tribal gaming facilities immediately gain access to the resources needed to adhere to the PEER Code of Conduct. According to Christenson, the fact that many program materials are Web-based allows them to be updated regularly to reflect federal, state and tribal priorities and also allows the program to be tailored to fit the needs of gaming facilities, both large and small.

The cornerstone of the program is the PEER Resource Guide. The Guide includes tools such as:

  • Best practice resources, outlining elements of successful existing programs
  • Videos, worksheets and other learning tools for employees
  • Brochures and signage about responsible gaming, the odds of casino games, unattended minors and more
  • Materials and resources for setting up a self-exclusion program
  • Tools and practices to train employees on how to prevent underage gambling
  • Guidance and tools for designing and implementing a responsible alcohol service policy

Additionally, PEER members receive access for core gaming employees to be trained using EMERGE, the premier employee responsible gaming training program, as well as discounted program rates for additional employees. EMERGE, which stands for Executive, Management and Employee Responsible Gaming Education, is a Web-based training program developed by addiction specialists at Harvard Medical School. The program is customizable for gaming facilities of any size, and translates the most current scientific research on gambling disorders into a practical learning tool for gaming industry employees at all levels.

Because of its Web-based design, EMERGE is available to employees 24/7 and requires no special software or equipment. EMERGE content has been approved by an international, third-party credentialing agency and exceeds the requirements of current gaming regulations regarding training of employees. If more hands-on assistance is needed, PEER members have access to trained PEER program Ambassadors, who will work with them to tailor and implement a responsible gaming program. The Code of Conduct also requires an annual audit of adherence to its provisions. PEER members will have access to a gaming facility “Report Card” that demonstrates their annual commitment to responsible gaming and indicates participation in the PEER program to regulators, tribal governments and the community at large.

“The PEER program puts research-based educational tools directly into the hands of a much wider gaming audience,” Christenson said. “This will help members – whether you are a tribal organization, a casino company or a gaming equipment manufacturer—to better promote responsible gaming across the casino industry as a whole and raise the quality of programs offered by a considerable margin.”

For information on the PEER program and how to become a member, visit the NCRG Web site atwww.ncrg.orgorclick here.