For the past seven years, Dr. Bo Bernhard, world-renowned responsible gaming expert, has led the responsible gaming ambassador training program at Las Vegas Sands properties across the globe. Dr. Bernhard serves as the executive director for the International Gaming Institute (IGI) at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where he oversees all research and academic functions. Prior to his current role at the university, Dr. Bernhard earned in his PhD in 2002, and was named the inaugural Research Director at the UNLV’s IGI, and was awarded a dual professorship in hotel management and sociology. Representing the university in these roles, Dr. Bernhard has delivered over 200 keynote addresses in clinical, regulatory, government, and policy settings.
Why is responsible gaming important for companies to address?
Responsible gaming is the number one question asked of gaming companies worldwide, in jurisdictions as diverse as Japan and Africa. Gaming is the major concern that drives Nevada’s industry of global tourism. People understand that it benefits taxes, revenue, tourism, etc. However, there are concerns that revolve around the issue in particular.
How often is this industry changing and how does it affect Responsible Gaming practices?
The coolest change that we’ve noticed overtime is awareness and increasing education. In previous generations, this wasn’t something people talked about. It’s very visible, we notice the growth every year when we come back. There is a new generation and culture that has really embraced this and can openly talk about.
What is unique about the Responsible Gaming Ambassador trainings?
Las Vegas Sands has the only program in the world that consists of an 8-hour intensive session with a university professor. They bring in experts from across the globe to speak directly to their Team Members. The program is more than the standard “call the hotline for help,” but Team Members are educated on this issue and go above and beyond.
What is the best thing someone can do if they are or know someone who may be affected by problem gambling?
There are a variety of resources available, not just for problem gamblers but friends and loved ones. Very often they are in denial of their abuses/addictions, but it’s important to remember that this can be really troubling for friends and family. There are treatment programs for concerned loved ones to help them and help themselves.
For help with problem gambling, please contact the official hotline at 1-800-522-4700.