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Caesars educates journalists on problem gambling

Among the various international operators, Caesars Entertainment has been in engaging in the most robust dialogue with Japanese journalists and policymakers on the critical subject of problem gambling.

In a series of lectures and presentations, the most recent one held in Tokyo on Monday, executive vice-president for government relations and corporate responsibility Jan Jones Blackhurst and advisor on responsible gaming Jennifer Shatley have offered the fruits of their research and experience to Japanese journalists who are now grappling with these issues in their news coverage.

Shatley explains the significance of these interactions to Asia Gaming Brief as follows: “The public finds out about the issues through the media, so if they are sensationalizing it or not understanding the issue, then the general public doesn’t either. So what we are trying to do is to kind of repair that.”

Blackhurst recognizes that it can be a long process, and that such efforts do not necessarily have an immediate effect on what appears in the pages of the newspapers: “It may not happen initially, but over time it makes the conversation better,” she states.

Blackhurst also advocates direct engagement with casino opponents, noting that even in cases in which it proves impossible to convert skeptics, such interactions can at least reduce the passion and intensity of the opposition.

Blackhurst and Shatley attribute the origins of Caesars’ leadership on this issue to former CEO Philip G. Satre, who launched Operation Bet Smart, focusing on employee training, several decades ago, which in turn helped transform attitudes and policies within the gaming industry as whole. Caesars’ has maintained a corporate culture putting a particularly strong emphasis on combatting problem gambling ever since, they say.

Asia Gaming Brief is a news and intelligence service providing up to date market information for worldwide executives on relevant gaming issues in Asia.

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