Las Vegas Sands Responsible Gaming Ambassador Training Educates Team Members in Problem Gambling
Las Vegas Sands has always focused on making its communities better places to live through Sands Cares and Project Protect, which promote a strong quality of life and foster a positive environment. Through its Responsible Gaming Ambassador program, the company has dedicated itself to educating its Team Members on how to create a positive environment at all of its properties worldwide.
“I strongly support Las Vegas Sands in this initiative,” said Kai Shield, hotel manager at The Palazzo Resort at The Venetian. “I am grateful for the opportunity and as I recall in the refresher training that is offered, I was thirsting for more ways to assist in the initiative and become more involved.”
With the company for over 11 years, Shield became a responsible gaming ambassador in 2017 after seeing his assistant director go through the training, making him eager to participate. He recently did his first refresher training this month, part of Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Shield recalled an incident with a guest who was trying to check in but didn’t have available funds for a deposit. Due to hotel policy, they weren’t able to waive the deposit as requested by the guest. The guest returned later and said he only needed the room for a few hours, but only had about 20 dollars. From that conversation, Shield said he picked up some red flags. Later, he discovered that the guest’s accounts were locked and that’s when Shield knew this was a situation where someone possibly needed help with a gambling addiction. Relying on his training as a Responsible Gaming Ambassador, he went to the Slot Salon to attain a brochure, which he placed in an envelope to hand it over to the guest discreetly.
“I expressed to him that I would be waiving the deposit this time only, but I insisted he accept the envelope and review the contents as I was concerned for his wellbeing,” Shield said. “The guest called me later that day and said that I had saved his life. I get emotional every time I go back to that moment. This was May 2017, less than six months out of my training and nine years of being on property. I had never had an encounter as impactful as this one. If I never had this training, I don’t think I could have made such an impact on this guest’s life. I have learned that this form of addiction is not something we as an industry can ignore. We need to raise awareness and help anyone we can because this form of addiction is not something we can clearly identify just by looking at someone. I learned by taking this training I was able to save someone’s life. The feeling that I have from helping this person is one of purpose. You just never know how you can or will impact the lives of others.”
Responsible Gaming Ambassador training will take place later this year in September in Macao and Singapore.