The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell called for sensible gambling Monday when he kicked off the 16th annual Responsible Gaming Education Week at Hollywood Casino Toledo.
“I just appreciate that the Hollywood Casino is prepared to step up on this particular issue,” Mayor Bell said. He called irresponsible gambling a concern and said he wants to ensure those in Toledo who gamble “do it in a responsible way.”
His audience at the Miami Street casino near the Rossford border included about 40 casino managers and staff and Lucas County and Ohio officials, including Carol Contrada, president of the county commissioners, and Will Lucas, the commissioner of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, both of whom also spoke during the 20-minute event.
Mike Galle, the casino’s assistant general manager, said after the news conference that once casino employees identify a patron with a gaming problem, they will talk to him privately and ask him if he thinks he has a problem. If he says “yes,” they will tell him about a statewide, voluntary exclusion program, Mr. Galle said.
If the patron decides he just needs a break from gambling, he will exclude himself for a length of time.
If, however, he chooses to be excluded forever, he will go on a database shared by all Ohio casinos. “We watch for those individuals if they try to come back,” Mr. Galle said. “If they do, we will stop them at the door and we will ask them to [go] back, off of the property.”
Events planned for this week included a responsible gaming promotion later Monday at a Toledo Mud Hens game, with the Hollywood mascot for this year throwing the ceremonial first pitch. At the casino there will be activities such as quizzes and door prizes.
Besides Hollywood Casino Toledo, the Responsible Gaming Education Week (Aug. 5 to 9) is sponsored by Penn National Gaming casinos, the American Gaming Association, the National Center for Responsible Gaming, and the Ohio Casino Control Commission.