When Shorelines Casino Belleville opened its doors in January 2017, it marked the beginning of a new generation of PlaySmart Centres. Now, the new PlaySmart Centres are serving customers in 10 gaming sites across the province. Operated by the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC), the centres offer a fresh and open design, complimentary services such as gourmet coffee, phone charging and televisions, as well as engaging activities to teach people how games work.
“I notice a big difference from the casino where I used to work in the amount of foot traffic that comes through the PlaySmart Centre,” says Mike Napier, Security Manager and PlaySmart Champion, Shorelines Casino Belleville. “People come in, sit down, read pamphlets on responsible gambling and start to build relationships with PlaySmart Centre staff. They don’t worry that people will look at them like they have a problem.”
It’s especially important to reach new players so they’re able to game safely for life.
Consuelo Kuettner Sandoval, one of RGC’s PlaySmart Centre managers, says the new format is attracting more visitors. “What’s more, our staff are engaging in twice as many conversations with players as they did before, and players are opening up about things like how much money they’ve won or lost versus their budget. Part of this is because our staff don’t just stick to the PlaySmart Centres, they also go out and talk to people on the gaming floor, which is a more friendly and inclusive approach, and new for all of us: the visitors, PlaySmart Centre Staff, and the gaming sites.”
RGC’s highly trained PlaySmart Centre staff are on site every day. Their conversations with players range from how the inside of a slot machine works, to the odds of winning and losing, to strategies for healthy play. They also provide immediate assistance to people who express concerns about their own or somebody else’s gambling.
“We used to focus on the single digit percentage of people who had negative play behaviour,” explains Todd DeWolf, RG Business Relationship Manager-Gaming, OLG. “With PlaySmart and the new-generation PlaySmart Centre, we’re now covering the 92% to 98% of players we weren’t seeing before. It’s especially important to reach new players so they’re able to game safely for life.”
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