As we conclude Problem Gambling Awareness Month, it is with great sadness we report that Dr. Rob Hunter, founder of Las Vegas’ Problem Gambling Center, passed away after Las Vegas Sands’ final day of Responsible Gaming Ambassador training on March 9. Hunter had attended all ambassador trainings speaking on the importance of Team Members understanding problem gambling and having the capabilities to address issues when they encounter a problem gambler.
“Although many of us are reeling in the loss of this incredible man and dear friend, I know Dr. Hunter would want us to continue to lead in our responsible gaming efforts and carry on the good work of connecting those who need help to the services that can provide it,” Maria-Christina Annaloro, director of Government Relations and Social Sciences at Las Vegas Sands, said. “Dr. Hunter was a silent hero to so many people in Las Vegas. He saved thousands of lives. He gave hope to thousands of families at the darkest of times. I feel honored and privileged that he was involved from the very beginning of our Responsible Gaming Ambassador program in 2012 and helped pave the way to the success of the program today.”
Hunter, the world’s leading gambling addiction specialist, began improving the lives of others in the 1980’s when he earned his PhD at the University of Nevada at Reno and later opened Charter Hospital. He started the first non-profit gambling addiction center in Las Vegas, the Problem Gambling Center, which allowed him to extend his reach to help more individuals and families. He treated more problem gamblers than anyone else in the world and his clinic is operating with over 90 percent success rate for recovery. Hunter practiced with both the Problem Gambling Center and the Las Vegas Recovery Center until the time of his death.
In addition, Dr. Rob Hunter consulted with governments around the world to address problem gambling and its effects on society. He gave thousands of lectures on the brain of addicts over the course of his career.
Las Vegas Sands remains committed to providing a safe environment for its guests and Team Members by training staff to recognize problem gambling and to offer resources to those in need. In March, 90 Team Members received Responsible Gaming Ambassador training in Las Vegas.