Responsible gaming- between desire and will Joaca Responsabil – intre dorinta si vointa

miercuri, 2 martie 2011

Almost 20 years since the Romanian gambling has developed within the free market, all the actors in the field talk about responsible gaming as an important purpose; this is an issue that should be achieved, but, unfortunately, has no real applicability or to less in Romania that is why we consider necessary and important to know some specialized advice regarding the responsible gaming. “do we need such a campaign for responsible gaming in Romania?” “how does a campaign should look like?”


What is responsible gaming?

According to Cristian Pascu, head of The Gambling Operators and producers in Romania, “the responsible gaming represents a players with a rational and logical attitude towards gaming and it is the antonym for vicious gaming”, on other words, “the main purpose of the gambling industry is to offer the clients a high standard quality, to fulfill the needs of the society regarding entertainment, fun, intense sensations, but controlled experience”.

How did the standards of “responsible gaming ” were established abroad?

According to Michelle Cummins, head of Romanian Casinos Association, „ the standards for Responsible Gaming have been developed and implemented by many international operators and gaming organizations.  One such organization, the American Gaming Association (AGA), has developed a very comprehensive Code of Conduct on Responsible Gaming that encompasses employees, customer and wider society. The code provides for some important and useful strategies that can be used by gaming operators to reduce problem gaming and assist those that need help. ” on the other hand, „Europe does not start an off lineor on line debate withput aproaching the issue regarding the responsible gaming, and obligations of the operators, as well as the obligations of the local and central authorities”, sustains Cristian Pascu, Head of AOPJNR

Why do we need to implement a standard of responsible gaming within the Romanian gambling?

 The president of the Romanian Casinos Organization, Sorin Constantinescu, says : “regarding the fact that abroad the responsible gaming in part of the gambling industry everyday life, and Romania must adhere to this system. There have been all kinds of dramatic situations and it happens with drugs or smoking or alcohol, it is necessary to prevent this addiction for gambling”. Romanian legislation contains very little in the way of player protection. Beyond stating that underage gambling is not permitted and that games be conducted fairly, no other provisions exist.

Michelle Cummins shows that “Rather than relying on legislation, every gaming organization, wherever it is established, should have a responsible gaming program in place.The aim of all gaming operators should be to offer maximum entertainment with minimum risk , “keeping it fun”. Or as I like to call it, “sustainable gaming”. Only in this way will gaming be a viable long-term form of entertainment. Protecting your players protects and enhances your operations, concludes ACR head.

According to the writing “Practice of the responsible gaming” launched by Euromat in the Romanian Parliament in November 2009, translated and promoted in Romania by AOPJNR, “the gamblers are divided into two categories: the addicted, the person temporary exposed to the risk of losing the rational choices, who is not aware of the purpose of fun experience, its limits and the potential risk of developing a pathology related to gambling and the pathologic, the person who suffers of psychiatric disease that develops into an obsessive behavior towards certain activities, among which we find gambling”

Cristian Pascu also focuses on four issues that should be applied for developing the social and corporative responsibility and promotion of the responsible gaming: research, education, efficient communication and regulation and players’treatment

Which are the measures the operators should consider for implementing a successful responsible gaming campaign? What is the role of the state and how can the Romanian players could be helped in overrunning the addiction moments?

“First of all, within a casino, gaming rooms or websites there must be the instrumentality that shows the clients the signs of gambling addiction. When they enter the casino, must be aware of the fact that this is amusement, entertainment, and they must have a certain amount, counted before starting the game”, shows Sorin Constantinescu. The head of AOCR continues: “the casinos must develop a professional system for the players addicted to gambling, the possibility to find professional advice if needed. A smoking, drugs or alcohol addicted there are signs, for the gambling addicted, there is no sign, they act like normal people, and they become someone else when they are in a gambling environment”

Cristian Pascu alsoi proposes other measures to be taken as “professional training for the operators, especially for those close to the player, who see them every day and start to know an addicted. Gambling excesses is not good for health, for the person involved and his/ her family or filling in requests regarding the timing and frequency of gaming, the limited budget and attempt of getting back the loses, if the player plays relaxed, takes it as amusement, aware of the fact that he can lose or win, if he/ she plays under pressure or stress, or because of the problems ”

Michelle Cummins, head of Romanian Casinos Association says  “No responsible gaming program will have real success if there are no independent support organizations to assist problem gamblers. Romania applies a very heavy burden of taxation on casinos, from which the state budget benefits greatly, but no effort is made by state authorities to fund treatment of gambling addiction or problem gaming. No national telephone help-lines or dedicated counseling organizations, such as GamCare in the UK, Gamblers Anonymous, or other similar organizations, exist in Romania. This makes it very difficult for casinos to offer contact details for support services to problem gamblers.  A national organization to support problem gamblers, funded by the state from the some of the proceeds of gaming taxation, would be the first important step. Operators should also implement a serious self-exclusion program, made known to players, and ensure that the player’s request is adhered to in full. Finally staff and management in casinos should be made aware of problem gaming through professional training programs, such as those offered to the gaming industry by GamCare of the UK. The Romanian Casino Association is working on bringing GamCare to Romania to provide training for the association’s employees, to further the cause of Responsible Gaming in Romania. The aim is for RCA’s casinos to achieve GamCare Certification, which confirms high standards of social responsibility and player protection, leading to a more responsible and sustainable business.” Declares Michelle Cummins

Although we are all aware of this problem, the authorities and operators did nothing for the last 20 years.

Which are the reasons for not implementing such a campaign?

Sorin Constantinescu, head of AOCR, thinks “there is a real communication problem between the gambling operators and the lake of funds for the non profit organizations that wish to get involved, the lake of interest from the operators towards the addicted and the moral interest of the operators don’t regard the addicted ”

On the other hand, Cristian Pascu focuses on the fact that “the problem is complex, if we regard the competition we deal with every day, due to the taxing problem, operation deeds, our first concern is to loyal our clients and to keep them inside the gaming rooms, in order to have at least 2000 lei at the end of every month, or else we are losing! So on the other hand we are happy to see players spending time and money inside our casino- but we are aware, at least some of us, of the fact that we should protect them from becoming pathologic and keep them close to the society, not losing him for good ”

“the limit between amusement and addiction is so smooth…”, concludes AOPJNR headDe aproape de 20 de ani de cand gamblingul romanesc se dezvolta pe o piata libera, aproape toti actorii din piata vorbesc despre responsible gaming ca de un deziderat important, un lucru ce trebuie realizat, dar care, din pacate, nu isi regaseste aplicabilitatea si in realitate decat intr-o foarte mica masura in Romania.

De aceea am considerat necesar si important sa aflam pareri avizate de la oameni din industrie referitoare la “ce reprezinta jocul responsabil?”, “este nevoie de o astfel de campanie de constientizare a riscurilor in randul jucatorilor din Romania?” , “cum ar trebui sa arate o campanie “responsible gaming”? s.a.m.d.

In primul rand ce reprezinta jocul responsabil? Dupa parerea presedintelui Asociatiei Organizatorilor si Producatorilor de Jocuri de Noroc din Romania (AOPJNR), Cristian Pascu, “practicarea responsabila a jocurilor de noroc se refera la persoanele care participa la jocuri de noroc cu o atitudine rationala si logica si este in antiteza cu jocurile ca viciu”, cu alte cuvinte “scopul industriei jocurilor de noroc este acela de a oferi clientilor o experienta de inalta calitate, care sa indeplineasca cerintele societatii in materie de divertisment, distractie si senzatii tari, experienta care insa sa fie controlata in mod corespunzator”, subliniaza domnul Pascu.

Cum s-au fixat standardele “jocului responsabil” in strainatate?

Conform spuselor lui Michelle Cummins, presedintele Asociatiei Cazinourilor din Romania (ACR), “regulile jocului responsabil au fost create si implementate de catre numeroase organizatii de profil, precum si de catre operatori la nivel international. O astfel de organizatie, Asociatia Americana a Jocurilor, a creat un Cod de procedura pentru Jocul Responsabil ce cuprinde angajati, clienti si intreaga societate. Codul prevede cateva strategii importante si folositoare ce pot fi utilizate de catre operatori si de asemenea, sa ii asiste pe cei care au nevoie de ajutor.” Pe de alta parte “Europa nu incepe nici o dezbatere de off-line sau on-line fara sa abordeze in  primul rand problema jocului responsabil, a obligatiilor care revin operatorilor si  autoritatilor centrale si locale in aceasta problema” subliniaza domnul Cristian Pascu, Presedinte AOPJNR.

Dar este nevoie de a se implementa un standard de responsible gaming si in gamblingul romanesc? Presedintele Asociatiei Organizatorilor de Cazinouri din Romania (AOCR), Sorin Constatinescu, spune ca “avand in vedere ca in strainatate jocul responsabil face parte din viata de zi cu zi a industriei de gambling, este necesar ca si Romania sa se alinieze. Au existat tot felul de situatii dramatice chiar tragice si este nevoie ca asa cum se intampla in cazul drogurilor, tutunului si alcolului, sa existe campanii de prevenire a oamenilor predispusi spre a devenii dependenti de jocuri de noroc”. Legislatia romaneasca contine foarte putine prevederi legate de protectia jucatorilor. In afara prevederilor legate de faptul ca minorii nu au acces in salile de joc, nu exista altceva. Astfel, Michelle Cummins arata ca „decat sa se bazeze pe legislatie, fiecare organizatie, indiferent de locatie, trebuie sa aiba un program pentru jocul responsabil. Scopul tututror operatorilor ar trebui sa fie acela de a oferi distractie maxima si risc minim, „pentru amuzament”. Sau, asa cum imi place sa il numesc „joc sustenabil”. Numai in aceasta maniera jocul de noroc va fi o forma de amuzament pe termen lung. Protejarea clientilor inseamna protectia si imbunatatirea operatiunilor cazinourilor” concluzioneaza presedintele ACR.

Conform materialului numit “Practicarea responsabila a jocurilor de noroc” lansat de Euromat in Parlamentul Romaniei in noiembrie 2009, tradus si promovat in Romania de AOPJNR, “clientii jocurilor de noroc se impart in doua categorii: jucatorul viciat, adica acea persoana care temporar este supusa riscului de a nu mai putea avea alegeri rationale, care nu este constienta de scopul experientei distractive, de limitarile acesteia si de potentialul risc de a dezvolta o boala patologica legata de jocurile de noroc si jucatorul patologic: acea persoana care sufera de o boala psihiatrica ce se manifesta printr-un comportament obsedant legat de anumite activitati, printre care si jocuri de noroc”.

Domnul Cristian Pascu emite chiar si patru principii care ar trebui sa fie aplicate in dezvoltarea responsabilitatii sociale corporative si in promovarea practicii responsabile a jocurilor de noroc: CERCETAREA, EDUCATIA si COMUNICAREA EFICIENTA, REGLEMENTAREA si TRATAMENTUL JUCATORILOR.

Ce masuri trebuie luate de catre operatorii de jocuri de noroc pentru ca o campanie de responsabilizare a jucatorilor sa fie una de succes? Care e rolul statului si cum pot fi ajutati jucatorii romani sa depaseasca momentele de dependenta? “In primul rand trebuie ca in cazinou, sala de jocuri sau website sa existe mijloace de informare a jucatorilor ce trebuie sa le arate acestora semnele dependentei de jocuri de noroc, astfel ca ei sa constientizeze ca atunci cand vin in cazinou ei trebuie sa vina pentru a se distra, pentru entertainment, cu o suma de bani stabilita dinainte” arata Sorin Constantinescu. Presedintele AOCR continua:”de asemenea pentru dependenti trebuie sa se creeze de catre cazinouri posibilitatea de a merge catre persoane abilitate (psihologi) pentru a isi vindeca dependenta daca totusi aceasta parvine. Daca pentru un dependent de tutun, droguri sau alcool sunt diverse semne care pot atrage atentia, pentru dependenti de jocuri de noroc acestea nu exista, pe strada sunt oameni absolut normali, transformarea lor venind doar atunci cand se afla in incintele unde se desfasoara activitati de gambling.”

Cristina Pascu propune si alte masuri ce pot fi luate de operatori, de exemplu: “un instructaj in acest scop trebuie sa faca si personalul de sala, care este in final cel mai aproape de jucatori, ii vede zi de zi si in final ajunge sa cunoasca “jucatorii casei “ si “chiar afise in sali de genul “Jocul in exces dauneaza sanatatii, persoanei implicate si familiei acestuia” sau “completarea de chestionare pe aceasta tema, cu intrebari de genul frecventa si timpul acordat jocului, daca bugetul este dinainte limitat si nu incearca sa isi recupereze pierderile anterioare, daca joaca relaxat, ca la o distractie, cu constiinta ca poate sa castige dar la fel de bine sa si piarda, nu sub impulsul supararilor sau stresului…”

Presedintele Asociatiei Cazinourilor din Romania, Michelle Cummins considera ca “nici un program de responsabilizare nu poate avea un succces real daca nu exista si organizatii independente care pot asista acest gen de probleme. Romania are un sistem de taxare in cazinouri extrem de scump, iar statul are beneficii destul de mari, dar nu exista nici un efort al autoritatilor de a finanta tratament pentru problemele legate de dependenta jocurilor de noroc. Nu exista o line telefonica pentru consiliere, precum exista in Marea Britanie, Jucatorii Anonimi, ori o organizatie similara. In Romania cazinourile nu pot oferi informatii despre acest gen de probleme.” In plus, Michelle Cummins subliniaza ca „o organizatie nationala finantata de stat prin utilizarea unui procent minim din taxele ce intra la bugetul de stat ar fi un pas important. Operatorii ar trebui, de asemenea, sa implementeze un program serios de excludere personala, sa il faca cunoscut jucatorilor, si sa se asigure ca cererile jucatorilor sunt luate in considerare. Managementul in cazinouri trebuie sa fie constient de problemele legate de jocurile de noroc, trebuie sa ofere programe de training, asa cum procedeaza Gamcare in Marea Britanie.”

„Asociatia Cazinourilor din Romania doreste sa aduca in Romania aceasta organizatie pentru un training profesional al angajatilor, pentru a implementa Jocul Responsabil in Romania. Scopul este de a primi un certificat Gam Care, care confirma standardele ridicate ale responsabilizarii sociale si protectie a jucatorilo, in ideea de a crea o afacere responsabila si sustenabila.” ne-a declarat Michelle Cummins.

Cu toate ca se constientizeaza toate aceste probleme legate de dependenta jucatorilor, atat autoritatile cat si operatorii de jocuri nu au facut mare lucru pe acest plan al responsabilizarii jucatorilor in ultimii 20 de ani.

Care sunt motivele neinceperii unei astfel de campanii pana astazi?

Sorin Constantinescu, presedinte AOCR, crede ca “exista o problema de comunicare intre marii operatori de jocuri, de asemenea, lipsa de fonduri ale organizatiilor non-profit care doresc sa se implice in astfel de campanii, nepasarea operatorilor vis-à-vis de jucatorii dependenti si interesul moral al operatorilor ce lasa oarecum de dorit in ceea ce priveste dependentii de jocuri de noroc.”

Pe de alta parte Cristian Pascu subliniaza si el ca “ problema este complexa, daca tinem cont de faptul ca in “canibalizarea” competitionala in care traim prima noastra grija, datorita presiunii in primul rand a taxelor care trebuie platite si a celorlalte cheltuieli operationale, prima noastra grija este cum sa ne fidelizam clientii si sa ii tinem in sala noastra astfel incat la sfirsit de luna sa avem cel putin 2000 lei/masina realizare, altfel suntem in pierdere !!! Deci pe de o parte ne bucuram daca jucatorii cheltuie cat mai mult la noi in sala – asta implica timp si bani – dar suntem constienti-cel putin unii din noi – ca ar trebui sa il protejam de excese pentru a nu deveni patologic jucatorul si a nu il pierde in final atat noi cat si societatea.”

“In realitate limita intre distractie si dependenta este foarte fina…” conchide presedintele AOPJNR.


Author: Editor

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