responsible gambling; audit; accreditation; casinos; social responsibility, sustainability


Gaming and Casino Operations Management | Gaming Law

Document Type

Original Research Article


This study examines how casino operators’ responsible gambling program performance changes after entering a third-party assurance program. Using de-identified responsible gambling accreditation data from the 75 casinos employing the “RG Check” program from 2012 to April 2019, this study finds that casino scores improved in the first reaccreditation period (p < .001, d = 0.92), but failed to improve in the second reaccreditation (p < .78, d = 0.38). Much of the first reaccreditation changes appear to be a result of one-time improvement in the scores of lower performing venues. There also appears to be inconsistent improvements in tactical areas of RG programs, as some areas improved over time while others were unchanged or declined. The Friedman test revealed statistically significant increases in scores for RG policies (p < .001); employee training (p < .001); venue/game features (p < .001); and access to money (p < .001). It also revealed a decrease in informed decision making scores (p = .010). The evidence is consistent with accreditation programs being used as a reputation signal rather than a performance management tool. The findings from this study suggest that RG assurance programs lead to some benefit but may not be a source of ongoing and consistent improvement without programmatic changes or other regulatory tools.

Funding Sources


Competing Interests

In the past five years, KP received funding for research from the Washington State Gambling Commission, the International Center for Responsible Gambling, the International Center for Gaming Regulation, and Entain (sub-award via the Division on Addiction). He received honoraria from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the University of York, and G2E Asia. He received expert witness payments from Crown Resorts Limited, Jones Ward, and Scientific Games. He received consulting payments (directly) from Scientific Affairs, MGM Resorts, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment Inc., Victor Strategies, and Eilers and Krejcik Gaming LLC, the Responsible Gambling Council of Canada, the Division on Addiction, Las Vegas Sands, the Canadian Responsible Gambling Association, the University of Sydney, the Gaming Board for The Bahamas, (indirectly) the Chicago Cubs, Wymac Gaming Solutions, Red Rock Resorts, the West Virginia Lottery, the Indiana Gaming Commission, Little River Casino Resort, and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. KP previously contributed to the development of RG Check for iGaming as an employee and consultant of the Responsible Gambling Council of Canada.