Responsible Gaming Ambassadors to help casino patrons

If a casino patron at Marina Bay Sands expresses dismay at losing too much or being unable to stop, help will be at hand in the form of new Responsible Gaming Ambassadors.

These ambassadors will direct them to resources on problem gambling like the National Council on Problem Gambling's website and helpline, or organisations such as the National Addictions Management Service and the Thye Hua Kwan Problem Gambling Recovery Centre.

Staff have been taught to listen out for signs that patrons might face gambling problems: for instance, if a patron exclaims that they cannot go home as their spouse will be angry at them for losing so much. But these ambassadors are not "interventionists" or mental health professionals, stressed Dr Bo Bernhard, executive director of the University of Nevada Las Vegas International Gaming Institute, who led the training session. And if patrons rebuff their offer of help, the ambassadors will not press the issue.

Over the past three days, 150 staff have been trained for this programme which will be officially launched in February. Currently, casino floor staff attend a basic training programme on handling problem gamblers.

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