Standards & Criteria for Gaming Venues

The 8 standards and 47 criteria for land-based venues are the benchmarks that guide the accreditation process. The criteria are used to define the standards in greater detail. All standards for land-based venues are listed below, along with their associated criteria.

1. Responsible gambling policies

The venue/corporation demonstrates awareness of problem gambling and creates integrated corporate policies and strategies to actively address it.

  • Criteria:

    • Policy Commitment to Responsible Gambling: Publicly corporate policy statements make a clear commitment to address problem gambling and identify corporate expectations for responsible gambling actions
    • Strategy for Responsible Gambling: The corporation has a strategy for responsible gambling with defined goals and a clear plan of action
    • Senior Staff Focused on Responsible Gambling: Executive staff member is accountable for responsible gambling policies and programs
    • Responsible Gambling Integration: Responsible gambling programs are embedded across all the activities of the organization
    • Staff Information: There are regular reminders to staff about responsible gambling policies and actions

2. Employee training

Staff understand the importance of responsible gambling and are knowledgeable about their role and the corporation’s expectations of their actions.

  • Criteria:

    • Reflecting Corporate Policies: Corporate responsible gambling policies are explained to employees along with local (e.g., venue-based) codes of practice, self-exclusion procedures and regulations
    • Understanding Problem Gambling and Key Responsible Gambling Concepts: Staff learn about problem gambling and its impact as well as key responsible gambling information
    • Understanding Job Skills and Procedures: Staff are taught skills and procedures required of them for assisting patrons who may have problems with gambling
    • Avoid Misleading Information: Staff are trained to avoid messaging that reinforces misleading or false beliefs
    • All Staff Receive Mandatory Training: All staff are trained upon hiring and are retrained regularly
    • Staff Training is based on Key Adult Education Principles: Objectives are clear and accessible to learners; training accommodates different learning styles, and is tested or reviewed with staff
    • Training is Evaluated: A formal evaluation process is in place
    • Training is based on Current Research and Expertise: The training program and/or evaluation is informed by the best available evidence

3. Self-exclusion

A well-managed and communicated Self-Exclusion program is in place that facilitates access to counselling and other supports.

  • Criteria:

    • Self-Exclusion Policy: A comprehensive and publicly available written policy is in place
    • Promotion of the Self-Exclusion Program: The Self-Exclusion program is well promoted
    • Registration Process: The process is managed in a timely and respectful way by specially trained personnel
    • Ban Length: The ban length is variable and patrons have options in their length of ban
    • Promotional Materials Discontinued: Those who are banned do not receive any promotional materials
    • Access to Community Resources: Patrons receive information about help resources
    • Conditions of Ban Length: Patrons receive clearly worded information that outlines the conditions of the ban and consequences of breaching
    • Data Collection: Data collection includes adequate information to enable effective detection and enforcement
    • Enforcement: A strong enforcement process is in place to identify and remove self-excluded patrons
    • Reinstatement: There is an active reinstatement process in place
    • Renewal: Ban renewal is straightforward and offered both off- and on-site

4. Assisting patrons who may have problems with gambling

Assistance to patrons who may have problems with gambling is readily available, systematically provided and documented.

  • Criteria:

    • Policies: Clear policies are in place for assessing and handling situations where there is evidence that a patron may have a gambling problem
    • Responding to Information Requests: All staff are knowledgeable about the helpline, self-exclusion, Responsible Gambling Centres, and local treatment resources and provide that information to patrons upon request
    • Responding to Distress: Staff respond appropriately to a distraught customer
    • Initiating Interactions: Staff initiate discrete discussions with patrons who show patterns or behaviours that may be signs of a gambling problem

5. Informed decision-making

Venue provides substantial and readily available information to enable patrons to make informed decisions.

  • Criteria:

    • Information about Gambling: The venue provides a variety of information that will assist patrons in making informed decisions about their gambling
    • Specialized Information Provision: The venue has designated player information or support services (e.g., Responsible Gambling Centres)
    • Personalized Information Provision (e.g., Player Feedback): Venue provides patrons access to play feedback

6. Advertising and promotion

Advertising and promotion does not mislead or misrepresent products or target potential vulnerable patrons.

  • Criteria:

    • Advertising Policy Statement: The company has a clearly articulated commitment to advertising that does not mislead, target people with gambling problems or minors
    • Screening Process: A Responsible Gambling screening process is in place for all advertising to ensure adherence to the policy
    • Not Misleading: Advertising is not misleading about outcomes of gambling or misrepresent the odds of winning/losing
    • Not Targeting Problem Gamblers: Advertising does not target or depict people with gambling problems
    • Loyalty Program: Loyalty program limits promotions for patrons identified with gambling problems

7. Access to money

Money and money services are provided to patrons in a responsible manner that does not encourage excessive spending.

  • Criteria:

    • ATMs: ATMS are placed in a location that encourage a break in play
    • Credit: Access to credit is prohibited or restricted
    • Cheque Cashing: Cheque cashing is prohibited or restricted
    • Accessing Money while Playing Games: Patrons cannot access direct electronic fund transfers at machines or gaming tables

8. Venue and game features

Venue and game design promotes awareness of the passage of time, breaks in play, and the responsible use of alcohol.

  • Criteria:

    • Passage of Time: Patrons have ample opportunities to take note of the passage of time
    • Hours of Operation: The venue is not open 24 hours per day
    • Alcohol Restrictions: Access to alcohol is well-controlled, never free and purchase is restricted to non-gaming areas
    • Display Credits as Cash: Machines are designed to display spending as cash
    • Gaming Machine Features: Machines display responsible gambling messaging during play; stop buttons are disabled
    • New Game Screening: All new games are screened to assess their problem gambling implications, if any
    • No Reinforcement of Myths and Misconceptions: Practices and procedures in the gaming venue do not reinforce myths and misconceptions

Learn more about the accreditation process.

Accreditation Process

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