Australian operator Crown Resorts has introduced Crown PlaySafe as part of expanded reforms to reduce gambling harm within its Australian resorts.
The plan forms part of the company’s Future Crown transformation program and aims to broaden the company’s focus from identifying and supporting those experiencing gambling harm to preventing it from happening in the first place.
Under new leadership, Crown has invested over $13m in gambling harm prevention and support, as well as doubled the size of its Crown PlaySafe team in the last 12 months.
Crown Resorts Chief Executive Officer Ciarán Carruthers said Crown’s vision is to be a worldleader in gambling harm prevention through best practice actions and initiatives that create a safe and enjoyable entertainment experience for our guests.
“We know that we can do more to maximise player safety, which is why Crown is scaling up all efforts to introduce these world-leading initiatives that help to educate and support guests to play in a positive and safe way.
“The plan addresses new and emerging challenges associated with gambling harm, including how we improve our understanding of gambling participation and develop new harm reduction concepts and ideas.
“With a focus on collaboration and engagement with government, industry and community-based partners, I am confident that together we can reduce gambling harm and create a safer gambling future for all Australians,” Mr Carruthers said.
The plan includes a renewed focus on player wellbeing and care, a new Crown PlaySafe approach, and the establishment of a dedicated gambling research and policy team which has been led by public health research expert Dr Jamie Wiebe since March 2022.
Crown PlaySafe includes several actions and initiatives designed to maximise player safety, including a commitment to acting across four priority areas:
Building a safer gambling future, with a focus on prevention and safer play, when we build and develop our gambling products and safety programs, we do so in a way that learns from successful prevention and harm reduction strategies.
Building a safer gambling culture, with care for the community, working in partnership with government and regulators, education providers, businesses and industry, and community-based organisations to create a more culturally relevant approach to preventing gambling harm.
Building a safer gambling environment, with expanded support for vulnerable or at-risk players, combining technology and data to implement mandatory carded-play and pre-commitment systems, marketing guardrails, training improvements and other gambling safety features to identify early signs of gambling harm and educate guests to play safely.
Building a safer gambling system, to improve understanding of player behaviour, investing in research and data monitoring, testing new harm reduction concepts and ideas, sharing and collaborating with our guests, industry experts and critics to design positive and safe player experiences.
Initiatives currently being introduced include mandatory carded-play and pre-commitment systems at Crown Melbourne, cashless gaming on electronic table games at Crown Sydney, $10 maximum bet limits on electronic gaming machines at Crown Perth, and a new Resorts-wide online self-exclusion portal.
With a focus on prevention, qualitative and quantitative research was undertaken to ensure Crown PlaySafe and its approach had the most impact among those who play within Crown’s Australian resorts.
Importantly, Crown PlaySafe was developed in a way that removed stigma by creating an environment where guests understood the role of Crown PlaySafe and the preventative support measures available to them.
Crown will progressively move away from ‘Responsible Gambling’ to Crown PlaySafe in the year ahead and rollout a new website, logo, colours, language and purpose statement. Crown will also rename position titles across the company and its responsible gaming centres.
Led by gambling harm research and policy specialist Dr Jamie Wiebe, Crown will invest in best practice gambling harm prevention strategies that prioritise player wellbeing and care.
The team will also develop a new knowledge exchange hub for business and industry including awareness and prevention education tools, testing of safer gambling concepts and research, and events and seminars to promote safer, more positive player experiences.
Crown Resorts Group Executive General Manager Responsible Gambling Dr Jamie Wiebe said tackling gambling harm is complex and there are often many factors at play.
“While our knowledge and understanding of gambling harm has deepened over the years, the introduction of new reforms and expanded support for vulnerable or at-risk players will make it easier for guests to manage and play within their personal limits.
“Gambling safety features like mandatory carded-play, time and spend limits, and online selfexclusion are some of the many tools being implemented to support guests to play safely,” said Dr Wiebe.
Crown PlaySafe was developed in consultation with gambling harm experts and industry, and informed by research into prevention, early intervention, and management of gambling behaviour.
Crown’s new online self-exclusion portal allows guests to self-exclude themselves from our casinos and opt out of receiving marketing material without the need to visit one of Crown’s Responsible Gaming Centres.
Crown has completed technology upgrades and the implementation of the Victorian Government’s card-based pre-commitment scheme, YourPlay, which will become mandatory on all 2,628 Electronic Gaming Machines at Crown Melbourne this December. More than 50,000 registered players are using the scheme today.
Crown has completed technology upgrades and the implementation of cashless gaming on Electronic Table Games at its VIP casino in Sydney. Crown Sydney has also invested in automation to improve customer onboarding; due diligence checks and improved harm minimisation programs.