|'For gambling to be fun, you'd have to remove the losing – it’s much easier for the Casinos to set aside a week and call it education than to acknowledge and account for the cost of the product.'|
Rev. Grey is one of cynics of 'Responsible Gaming Education Week'. He adds, 'Government and the gambling industry has decided that this week obviates the social and economic cost of those who gamble'.
Sponsored by the American Gaming Association, the casino industry's Washington, D.C.-based lobbying arm, Responsible Gaming Education Week is designed to 'heighten awareness of disordered gambling among employees, patrons and the general public,' according to the association.
MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman, however, disagrees. 'This is not something we do one week a year, like we don't get religion one week a year. This is just the public face of what we do every day of the year.'
With a 'Keeping it Fun' campaign this year around 83,000 brochures will be distributed, down from 210,000 in 1998, its first year. Also some 70,000 buttons, ribbons and stickers would be distributed from 10 gaming companies operating 66 casinos in 12 states.
Criticising the campaign, Grey comments, 'Casinos should make more meaningful gestures using their powerful databases to identify problem gamblers and intervening'.