The Bahamas Gaming Operators Association (BGOA), is very pleased to formally launch its responsible gaming & addiction prevention program, to
be funded, as part of our earlier announced corporate & social responsibility pledge of $7.1 million. While each of the licensees already have in place on-going responsible gaming programs, as individual entities, the Association recognizes that as a collective representation of the domestic gaming industry, it has an obligation as part of its overall mandate to promote awareness, education and advocate on behalf of its stakeholders. Primary amongst that stakeholder grouping, is our customers. Therefore, protecting and empowering them to make responsible decisions about how they game, is of paramount importance. Gaming is a form of entertainment and it should be viewed and enjoyed as such. It should only be played against one’s budget or allocated disposable income and should never be played against funds allocated for priority spend – like one’s rent, mortgage, school fees, car payment, grocery bill, insurance, savings and the like. As a form of entertainment, it should be enjoyed in moderation.
Therefore, today marks a red-letter day, as the start of the Association’s formal public relations and messaging campaign to ensure we promote greater awareness, education, and advocacy via:
- Standardizing public signage across all islands where the industry has a presence.
- Standardizing in-gaming location signage across all licensees.
- Standardizing the development and distribution of educational material in all forms – printed, social & other digital platforms.
- Hosting town meetings and educational seminars in partnership with professional clinicians or entities that specialize in assisting those persons who may be prone to addiction.
- Highlighting our responsible gaming and prevention programs during the month of June, by continuing to provide extensive industry staff training and to promote public awareness and education of the industry and our on-going responsible gaming initiatives.
- Advocating Government to make it easier for family members and/or loved ones to facilitate the exclusion process of persons who may not otherwise seek help or recognize that they need help.
We are equally pleased to advise that as part of our industry’s commitment to consumer protection and empowerment beyond the self-imposed limits
and self-exclusion options already in place, we have made arrangements with Dr. Timothy Barrett, The Renascence Institute International – headed
by Dr. David F. Allen & Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, to provide highly confidential professional intervention and a structured recovery program to assist those persons who may be dealing with addiction in general but gaming in particular. The program will also be extended to family members, who may also have become affected by such a disorder. The goal is to seek the root cause of the addiction, which can range from a myriad of things unrelated to gaming but where it may be used as a means of escape.
Persons seeking professional assistance can call 242.603.2083 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then arrange the necessary appointments and cover the cost of that professional assistance.
Also – all of our responsible gaming information will be available on the Association’s website, which will go live by 1ST June 2018.
The Association over the course of the last several months, sought to improve its education and learning in the area of addiction by speaking with a number of professionals who specialize in this form of disorder; several of whom are here with me today. They are:
Dr. Timothy Barrett – a well-known and highly respected, Clinical Psychiatrist.
Ms. Paulette Bowe – Senior Nursing Officer & Chairperson Gambling Initiative – Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC).
Ms. Brenda Smith – Senior Manager – Training & Development – SRC
Ms. Betty Frazer – Senior Nursing Officer – Strategic Services (SRC) and
Ms. Mrs. Joeanna Bell-Curry – Senior Nursing Officer – Continuing Nursing Education (SRC) –
All of whom are International Certified Addiction Professionals.
We are also pleased to announce today that the Board has approved the proposal submitted by Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, to provide funding in the amount of $30,000.00, to fully cover the cost of enabling these professionals here to be further trained and upskilled in dealing with addiction, particularly in the form of gaming/waging and betting. They will attend several training workshops and seminars in the United States between July & October of this year. The Bahamas Gaming Operators Association (BGOA) is a non-profit organization that represents the licensees of the domestic gaming industry. Its objectives are to promote awareness and education of the industry and to advocate for fair and equitable public policy, regulation and legislation, based on factual data and research. The Association also exists to ensure the continued innovation and sustainability of the domestic gaming industry for the benefit of all of its stakeholders. It will also consistently promote responsible gaming, as part of its broader community building initiatives and overall contribution to the economy of The Bahamas.