Even before the racino opens its doors, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course is raising awareness of problem gaming issues as it marks National Responsible Gaming Education Week, being held this week.
The gaming and racing facility--scheduled to open in September--is joining with the Ohio Lottery Commission, its sister casino property in Toledo, and the Austintown Township trustees in alerting potential patrons to the warning signs of problem gaming and training its staff to spot those signs and offer resources to anyone who may feel they have a gaming addiction.
''We take the issue of responsible gaming very seriously at all of our Penn National Gaming facilities every day,'' said Mike Galle, general manager of Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course. ''Even though we know only a small percentage of patrons may develop a gambling problem, we recognize our responsibility to train our team members and work with the state and with community-based organizations to identify and combat the problem.''
Knowing the signs of gaming addiction and providing information on recovery resources is part of the training for every Hollywood Gaming team member. The approximately 400 employees currently being trained to work at the new facility will undergo problem gaming training as part of their preparation to begin their new careers.
To support the effort, Austintown Township trustees issued a proclamation stating that ''Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course has contributed to the economy and quality of life in Austintown through providing job opportunities, as well as supporting public services through the payment of taxes, capital investments, and donating to local charities.''
''The gaming facility enhances the region as an entertainment destination, drawing tourists and local citizens alike to gamble responsibly and share in a positive gaming experience,'' the trustees said. ''The National Center for Responsible Gaming and Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, with the support of the Austintown trustees, urge citizens to call the Problem Gambling Help Line at 800-589-9966 if problem gambling is suspected with themselves or someone they know.''
The proclamation recognized the upcoming week as Responsible Gaming Education Week ''in order to make citizens aware of the importance of responsible gaming, adequate treatment of gaming abuse and counsel for those who are recovering from past gaming abuse.''
Throughout the year, Hollywood Gaming's marketing materials will include the telephone number of the state's problem gaming hotline. Information on responsible gaming and resources for help will be available to patrons inside the facility.
The Ohio problem gaming hotline is operated by Ohioans for Responsible Gaming, a cooperative effort among the Ohio Lottery Commission, the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the Ohio Racing Commission and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. More information is available at www.org.ohio.gov and at www.Ilostabet.org.
Responsible Gaming Week is a national effort coordinated by the American Gaming Association. More information on National Problem Gaming Awareness Week is at www.americangaming.org/events-and-programs/events-and-programs/responsible-gaming-educaiton-week.