Organized by the Macao Polytechnic Institute, supported by the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR and hosted by SJM, the Forum on Macao Integrated Tourism and Leisure Enterprisesand Social Responsibility was successfully held at 3 pm on April 27 at the Grand Lisboa Macau Grand Ballroom. The theme of the forum was "Promoting Responsible Gambling". Organizations participating and presenting at the forum include (in the order of their presentations) SJM, MGM, Wynn Macau Limited, Sands China Limited, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Macao Federation of Trade Unions and Macao Polytechnic Institute. The aim of the forum is to enhance understanding and appreciation by residents and visitors to Macao, of the contributions by the integrated tourism and leisure enterprises in promoting responsible gaming among the industry,.
The opening ceremony of the forum was officiated by Mr. Yao Jian, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR; Dr. Tam Chon Weng, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR; Professor Lei Heong Iok, President of Macao Polytechnic Institute and the host, Ms. Angela Leong, Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer of SJM. Present at the Forum also included Mr. Liu Bin, Director-General of the Economic Affairs Department at the Liaison Office and Mr. Leong Man Ion, Deputy Director of Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Representatives from the Federation of Trade Unions and other participating tourism and leisure enterprises also attended the opening ceremony, including Mr. Chan Kam-Meng, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions; Ms. Linda Chen, President and Executive Director of Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A.; Dr. Wilfred Wong, President for Sands China Limited; Mr. Hubert Wang, Senior Vice President of Finance & Chief Financial Officer of MGM China Holdings Limited; Ms. Maggie Ma, Chief Corporate Communications and Corporate Affairs Officer of Melco Resorts & Entertainment; and Dr. Jorge Neto Valente, Consultant for Galaxy Entertainment Group (representatives of participating integrated tourism and leisure enterprises attended the opening ceremony are listed in the order of their companies’ Chinese names).
Professor Lei Heong Iok, President of Polytechnic Institute, remarkedduring his speech that, the gaming industry is a unique industry. According to research on the social and economic impact of the gambling industry, gambling will likely bring impact to the community, the practitioners, and the consumers. The SAR government of Macao has attached great importance to committing to the healthy development of the gaming industry. The government’s 2005 Policy Address has formulated and launched specific measures to promote responsible gaming, and set up agencies and schemes to promote responsible gambling, such as establishing the "The Resilience Problem Gambling Counseling Center". The 2010 Policy Address has stepped up further efforts to advocate responsible gambling. In 2011, the "Responsible Gaming Working Committee" and the "Central Registry System of Individuals with Gambling Disorder" were set up. In 2012, the minimum age of entry into the casino was raised to 21 years. The SAR Government has continuously deepened its responsible gambling policies and has been promoting work in all aspects of education, prevention, support, research and continuous monitoring. The future responsible gambling policy will not only focus on local Macao residents and local employees of the industry but will also be extended to rational entertainment consumption among visitors, in an alignment of Macao’s strategic goal of constructing into a World Center of Tourism and Leisure.
Besides these initiatives from the SAR Government, major local integrated tourism and leisure enterprises have spared no efforts in implementing the "Responsible Gambling Implementation Measures". Meanwhile, many local social service organizations have also been active in preventing gambling disorders and providing counselingand support services to those people inflicted by gambling disorders. During the forum, representatives of the integrated tourism and leisure enterprises introduced their various measures implemented to promote responsible gambling. Some of these measures are listed in the following (in order of their presentations):
Since the establishment of the SJM in 1962, its founder Dr. Stanley Ho has committed to promoting rational gambling in the casino venue under the spirit of "gambling moderate amounts for entertainment", which was the predecessor of "Responsible Gambling". In 2006, SJM funded the establishment of "Yat On Center", as Macao’s only gaming concessionaire to finance the operation and development of responsible gaming institution. Yat On Center offers a Canadian accredited gambling counselor certificate program with adaptation to local gambling culture and respond to local needs.
Following these, the SJM has also set up a dedicated team of responsible gambling task force led by the department heads joining with the government, social service agencies and other gaming operators to implement "responsible gambling." It regularly assigns staff to Yat On Center to practice gambling counseling work at the front-line. SJM is the first to provide on-site service of “responsible gambling”, which has provided services and counseling to nearly 30,000 employees and more than 5,000 people in the staff lounge, canteen, and slot machine parlours. SJM also regularly arranges staff to participate in "responsible gambling" training. Since 2012, more than 1,000 people have been arranged to participate in the training courses arranged by the "responsible gambling" task force.
SJMhas displayed "Responsible Gambling" promotional materials and kiosks in all conspicuous positions and its "responsible gambling" ambassadors provide on-site counseling services in shifts. It also organizes "Responsible Gaming" booths, games and competition and so on to promote a positive attitude. Through its "Yat On Center", SJM provides services for all entertainment sites of slot machines, lottery, horse racing, dog racing and other casino areas to promote "responsible gambling". So far, the Company has distributed 200,000 copies of "responsible gambling" promotional package and has held 500 related lectures since 2008, with more than 50,000 participants. Over the past three years, SJM has participated in the "Responsible Gambling Knowledge Contest", and has been able to win the first three places. All these measures and achievements are lending strong support to the effectiveness of SJM’s endeavors over the years.
Since May 2007, MGM has followedits parent company, the MGM Resorts International, in implementing the American Gambling Association's “Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct”. In providing these supports, the Company has made reference to the guidelines and experience of the industry's foremost thought leader in responsible gaming, i.e., MGM Resorts International’s Executive Vice President of Global Government and Industry Affairs and Chairman of the U.S. National Center for Responsible Gaming, Mr. Alan Feldman, which include the MGM Self-limit Program and MGM Self-excluded Program. Subsequently, MGM has set up a "Responsible Gambling Committee", which is headed by the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings Limited, Mr. Grant Bowie, who led the management of the various departments of the hotel, as well as a 24-hour Responsible Gaming Squad. MGM is committed to promoting responsible gambling to all domains of the company, including customers, employees, business partners and the community as a whole. The Company is committed to enforcing the casino entry restrictions, not promoting gambling among the public, minors or excluded individuals. In the casino and the hotel show a variety of responsible gambling information to protect the informed decision of consumers, to provide appropriate responsible gaming support to customers in need of help, and with the Government to install a responsible gambling kiosk and provide isolation application form. In terms of employees, MGM focuses on raising awareness of gambling disorders and prevention, providing them with a comprehensive range of responsible gaming training and diversified communication platforms to promote responsible gaming; and employee assistance program implemented by third parties to provide free-of-charge and confidential professional counseling for employees and their families to help solve problems and establish a healthy life. MGM also fully supports and participates in the activities organized by the government and responsible gaming groups. It also provides responsible gambling seminars and gambling tours to extensively promote prevention and control of problem gambling.
Wynn is committed to fulfilling its social responsibilities and to continue to promote the public's attention and understanding of responsible gamingthrough different media while providing diversified entertainment and world-class services to assist gamblers in establishing a healthy gaming attitude. Wynn's implementation of responsible gambling measures takes full account of the guests and team members, including education, reinforcement and support.
In terms of education, Wynn is one of the earliest enterprises to set up online learning for employees in Macao. The course is rich and varied, interesting and free from time and geographical restrictions. The Company provides the staff in the gaming department and the security department regular refresh training of responsible gaming and plans to further extend the training to non-gaming staff. At the same time, in order to consolidate the responsible gaming concept of team members, the Company also requires new recruits to receive relevant training. It regularly sends messages, works with non-governmental in displaying roadshows within the back-of-house areas, organizes games and award-winning quizzes, and invites lectures by experts, to reinforce the promotion information of responsible gambling. In addition, Wynn also organizes team members to visit relevant social service organizations and actively supports responsible gambling activities, as well as participating in gambling knowledge competitions, so as to minimize the impact of problem gambling on the whole community.
Sands China has spared no efforts in promoting the responsible gambling culture. In as early as 2004, it has launched a self-exclusionprogram; since 2006, it has continued to make donations in supporting local private institutions, preventing adolescent gambling, and providing counseling to the problem gamblers and their families. In 2007, Sands China took the lead in establishing a complete responsible gambling program, including responsible gaming to new recruits, posting responsible gaming information in their property and logistics areas. Since 2011, all staff has held a responsible gambling course and education week every two years. In the following year, it followed the government requirements to implement responsible gambling measures. Sands China has organized a training program for responsible gambling teams since 2013 which was co-organized with and certificate awarded by the University of Nevada Las Vegas. In 2016, it launched the crisis management and intervention skills training to strengthen the support needs of guests. Since 2014, Sands China has been sending senior and middle management staff to participate in the Professional Certificate in Gambling Counseling (Macau), and its training staff to attend the Certificate in Macau Responsible Gambling Advisor. The Company’s casino and non-gaming areas display responsible gaming pamphlets. It is expected that by the end of 2017, all casinos will install responsible gambling kiosks and responsible gambling stations. Since 2011, Sands China’s staff, who has completed the registered gambling counselor training, has been providing professional counseling and referral services to employees; Sands has also been providing free-of-charge, third party support service to the company staff and their families, extending confidential counseling services on personal or work related problems.
Melco Resorts & Entertainment
Responsible gaming is one of Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s corporate social responsibility pillars. Melco established the Responsible Gaming Committee in 2007. The cross-departmental committee is chaired by the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Lawrence Ho, working closely with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau to ensure strict compliance and implementation of the Company’s responsible gaming policies. Melco actively support the Bureau’s work on the development of gaming management research and responsible gaming. The Company also financed the MPI-Melco Gaming and Entertainment Information Technology Research and Development Center, which opened in 2008, and developed the Responsible Gaming Portal.
Melco also donated to the Macau University Development Foundation to finance the development and research of local gaming management. Over 30 Melco employees have completed the Professional Certificate in Gambling Counseling (Macau) or Certificate in Macau Responsible Gaming Advisor. To promote responsible gaming, all new employees are required to participate in the responsible gaming training; the Company’s internal TV channel also broadcasts responsible gaming videos; information on responsible gaming is available in its casinos; dedicated responsible gaming ambassadors were appointed to provide assistance to customers and other employees. Employees are strictly prohibited to gamble at the Company’s casinos. Melco’s policies also prevent the employment of self-excluded persons, and ban the access to gaming websites within the Company’s properties. Melco regularly reinforces employees’ knowledge in responsible gaming, and enhance their ability to identify and assist those with gaming disorders. The Company also provides a 24-hour hotline and other professional assistance.
Every year, Melco organizes responsible gaming activities such as trivia, photography competition, and storying composing competition. The Company also actively supports and assists the government and other social service agencies in promoting responsible gaming. Over the past three years, Melco won two championships in the Gambling Knowledge Competition.
Galaxy Entertainment Group
Galaxy Entertainment Group has started to launch responsible gambling activities since the early yearsafter its opening. Over the years, it has promoted this concept in different ways. For example, in 2008, it created the first responsible gaming manager positions in Macao, began to incorporate responsible gaming training into the staff training and has trained over 30,000 people so far. In the same year, it launched responsible gambling support and counseling hotline program, 24-hour hotline, face-to-face counseling and online counseling services. In 2009, Galaxy launched its responsible gaming logo. In 2010, it launched the responsible gambling week in the back-of-house area. In 2011, it set up a responsible gambling team when Macao Galaxy was opened. In 2012, Galaxy set up the responsible gambling committee, and installed in all subsidiary casinos responsible gambling kiosks and introduced a new responsible gaming logo and promotional materials. In 2013, Galaxy launched a responsible gambling online training course and held a responsible gambling week and hosted the closing ceremony for the first responsible gaming promotion week. In 2014, Galaxy designated a new service provider to manage a responsible gaming promotion program. In 2016, it added responsible gaming information stations in casinos. All of Galaxy´s casinos are strictly complying with government regulations, marking the entry restrictions and provide self-exclusion and third party-exclusion application forms in the casino sites and logistics areas and display gaming rules and odds information etc, as well as posting responsible gaming information on slot machines together with 24-hour counseling hotline information. Galaxy is actively working with local social service agencies and academic institutions to promote responsible gambling, hosting regular lectures for team members, roadshow promotion, etc. Among its staff, some team members have completed the Macau professional gambling counselor course, such as the Professional Certificate in Gambling Counseling (Macau) or the Certificate in Macau Responsible Gaming Advisor.
In his concluding remarks, Associate Professor Samuel Huangfrom Macau Polytechnic Institute's Gaming Teaching and Research Center pointed out that the SAR Government, in addition to vigorously promoting the implementation of responsible gaming policies, has continued to support relevant academic and evaluation research. Since 2007, the government has conducted ¨Survey on Gambling Activities" every three years. In addition, the government has supported research on women's participation in gambling activities and surveys on mental health, the survey on gambling practitioners’ living situation, personal gaming behavior and family relations research etc. Recent study shows that the prevalence rate of gambling disorders in Macao has shown a declining trend over the last decade, indicating effectiveness of the government's measures in promoting responsible gambling.