8: Unicorns Aren’t Real, but the House Advantage Is – UNLV Distinguished Fellow Alan Feldman


How GameSense and the International Gaming Institute Are Making a Difference in Responsible Gaming

In this episode of The Stories Behind the Bet, Philip James discusses the relevance of GameSense and the International Gaming Institute with Distinguished Fellow in Responsible Gaming Alan Feldman. GameSense is a way for casinos to prove they care about the gambling habits of their clientele, and it’s already making a difference for big names like MGM Resorts.

Alan Feldman is an expert in this field. He has spent almost 30 years as a senior executive with MGM and Mirage, most recently spearheading the launch of GameSense programming throughout MGM properties. By doing so, the casino is able to both inadvertently and directly advertise responsible behavior to its players, encouraging them to adopt a less competitive attitude about gambling and reminding them that they’re there to have fun; as Feldman explains in the podcast, the house advantage is a real thing, and it’s not something that players can surmount with enough practice or a professional attitude.

 Feldman also serves as the chair of both the Nevada Advisory Committee on Problem Gambling and the National Center for Responsible Gaming. His expertise is immensely valuable to the industry, and he’s been honored with myriad rewards; he was named Gaming Professional of the Year by the Casino Management Association in 2002, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Gaming Communications in 2009 from the American Gaming Association.

At the International Gaming Institute at UNLV, Feldman is able to advocate for best practices in responsible gaming, helping to provide research-based solutions to the global gaming industry.

SUMMARY

In this episode, the following topics are discussed:

– Alan Feldman introduction

– What is GameSense?

– Who uses GameSense and how does it work?

– Casino values and customer expectations

– Early feedback from MGM

– GameSense as a responsible gaming program, not a problem gambling identifier

– The difference between GameSense and self-limiting gambling

– How operators can get involved

– The International Gaming Institute at UNLV: what’s there and what’s new

– Compliance versus corporate social responsibility

– The significance of embedding responsible gaming in corporate culture

– Final thoughts

NOTES

Learn more about episode guest Alan Feldman on his UNLV page or follow him on Twitter.