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Mar 07, 2018

Happy Ambassaversary! 15 Years of Responsible Gaming Ambassadors

by Margaret George

This year is a special one at Caesars. Back in 2003, we were looking for a way to expand our already industry-leading Responsible Gaming program, so we harnessed our greatest resource: the team members who are on the casino floor with our guests each day. Thus, the Responsible Gaming Ambassador program was born to empower team members across the U.S. to assist guests who may show signs of a potential gambling problem.

Read on to hear from several longtime Responsible Gaming Ambassadors about how and why they serve our guests.

  • Darlene Winkelman, Assistant Casino Operations Manager, Harvey’s Lake Tahoe and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Casinos
  • Jeff Graber, Surveillance Director, Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino and Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino
  • Lori Monroy-Leffner, Casino Manager – Slots, Flamingo Las Vegas
  • Phyllis Carmon, Regional Compliance Manager, Horseshoe Casino  Tunica & Tunica Roadhouse Casino & Hotel
  • Steve Aloi, Assistant Operations Manager, Slots, Harrah’s Ak-Chin

Caesars Citizenship Blog: What does it mean to be a Responsible Gaming Ambassador?

Darlene: It is our pleasure to have a conversation and provide resources to guests that are wondering if they may be exhibiting signs of a gambling disorder.

Lori: Dealers and slot attendants – those who are most likely to hear a guest make a statement that could mean they’re having a problem – will get the guest in touch with a Responsible Gaming Ambassador (RG Ambassador).

Steve: Being an RG Ambassador is first and foremost grounded in our Code of Commitment; one of the things we really look for in RG Ambassadors is that they represent the Code. The training program involves a four-hour session with role-playing difficult conversations and familiarizing trainees with our responsible gaming resources.

Jeff: We don’t have situations arise daily, but sometimes people come to us for help. We’re not counselors or professionals, but we’re a conduit to get people help.

CCB: What kind of feedback have you gotten?

Lori: I’ve received a lot of positive feedback with guests on how their particular situation was approached, saying they didn’t feel embarrassed or as if they were being judged.

Phyllis: I have had several guests who needed to exclude themselves from gambling at our locations send me mail or even come to thank me personally for the judgment-free help and support.

Steve: Each year, some fellow RG Ambassadors and I participate in an annual symposium in Phoenix to learn from gambling disorders counselors. At first, they’re surprised to hear that we care so much about responsible gaming.

CCB: If there was one thing you could tell guests and/or communities about gaming responsibly, what would it be?

Jeff: Sometimes gambling isn’t fun for people. If they aren’t having a good time, then we don’t want to take money from them. This has stuck with me since I became an RG Ambassador 15 years ago.

Lori: We only want guests to spend money that they can afford, that they’re comfortable playing for entertainment.

Phyllis: If you think you might have a problem, we’re here to guide you to problem gambling resources, or just provide a listening ear. You can call the National Council on Problem Gambling’s 24-hour hotline (1-800-522-4700) or visit https://www.ncpgambling.org/help-treatment/help-by-state/ to find available resources and support in your area.