With the introduction of PlayersEdge, Hard Rock International is evolving gaming floor culture by changing how casino-goers learn about and manage their gambling. The new branded program is the first in the U.S. to apply a comprehensive education strategy to meet the needs of all gamblers — from new and casual players, to seasoned regulars and anyone at-risk for or experiencing problems.
Starting with game facts and casino etiquette, PlayersEdge also helps players understand their own behavior, identify risks of gambling and develop positive play habits. For those whose gambling has gone too far, PlayersEdge offers the assistance of voluntary self-exclusion and referrals to professional help and counseling services.
While responsible gambling messages have become common in the industry, casino guests often tune them out, believing its information is “not for me.” PlayersEdge speaks differently to people, using the lively voice of casino gamblers to attract their attention.
The program – to be implemented across all Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming casino properties – piques intrigue, with a tone that for most messages is positive, fun and entertaining. For people seeking help, the tone is supportive and non-judgmental.
“We built PlayersEdge by listening to gamblers. We want to communicate the right information by appealing to how they actually think and behave in casinos,” said Paul Pellizzari, vice president of global social responsibility for Hard Rock International. “By understanding the risk profiles and experience levels of different player types, we can segment and target information more precisely, bringing a new focus on preventing problems before they start.”
Informed by independent research and expert perspectives, PlayersEdge will become a prominent feature of Hard Rock gaming environments. A mix of media, including print, digital, web, social and live activations, will provide a regular stream of fresh information.
To change the culture of gaming, Hard Rock wants to increase gambling literacy while inspiring honest conversations about slot machines, table games and other gaming experiences. “We want players to become confident and to talk openly about gambling—with each other, their families and their friends. We want dialogue on what’s healthy and fun, and what’s risky. Our employees are critical to this change,” Pellizzari said.
The segmentation strategy behind PlayersEdge is also the foundation for new training and culture-building programs rolling out at Hard Rock.
More than 15,000 guest-facing employees will receive “Frontline Fundamentals”, an online training that explains the signs of player behavior seen on the gaming floor. They learn how to interpret those signs and provide the right information. As concerns for guests become more serious, these employees learn how to escalate responses.
Training is expanded for supervisors and managers, who also attend an intensive “Supervisor Support” classroom module. Role-playing and real-life scenarios teach these more senior personnel how to effectively interact with and support distressed gamblers. This training is created and co-delivered with trained clinicians and problem gambling experts from the Florida Council for Compulsive Gambling.
To reinforce the foundations set by training, each casino property has established teams and leaders to help drive the priority that responsible gambling is part of exceptional customer service.
Through PlayersEdge education, employee training and culture-building, Hard Rock is working to appeal to all players’ interests and curiosities so they can better understand and manage their gambling.
When players have the knowledge and confidence to make informed choices, to self-reflect, and to recognize and act upon growing risk concerns, then our casinos can build a healthy base of customers who gamble safely and return to our properties year after year.