Hotel Online Special Report

 Problem Gambling Issue Addressed by Global Cash Access Responsible Gaming Partnership
SUNNYVALE, Calif - June 17, 1999--As the issue of problem gambling is receiving increased scrutiny, Global Cash Access (GCA), the leading provider of cash access services for the gaming industry, is implementing a multi-tiered initiative to promote responsible gaming.

GCA's Responsible Gaming Partnership program, which was developed in cooperation with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), is being rolled out to the more than 1,200 gaming properties served by the company.

The effort includes point-of-decision messages that encourage gaming patrons to "Think" and act responsibly in obtaining funds at GCA cash access devices. The messages, including the NCPG 24-hour, toll-free help line number, will be displayed via highly visible decals and transaction receipts at GCA's ATM, POS debit and credit card cash advance devices, said Kirk Sanford, GCA chief executive officer. Examples of the customer materials are available at

"This is a significant issue for the gaming industry. As the leading provider of cash access services, GCA recognizes the unique opportunity we have to encourage gaming patrons to use care when they access their funds," said Sanford.

More than two-thirds of GCA devices include a telephone handset with direct access to its 24-hour call center. GCA has trained all of its call center service representatives to provide immediate connection to the NCPG hotline if a gaming patron uses the code word "think." The code word is provided in a pre-recorded message and offers gaming patrons a discreet, non-threatening way to get help, said Sanford.

Approximately 150,000 calls per month are fielded by the GCA customer call center.

In addition, GCA has developed other consumer and employee education materials that may be used by gaming properties as optional elements of the program. The employee education materials address how to help problem gamblers get assistance, as well as identify and intercede with potentially underage guests.

"We think this issue is best addressed by creating proactive partnerships with our customers and the National Council on Problem Gambling to promote responsible decision-making by patrons and to remove barriers for them to seek assistance if they think they may have a problem," said Sanford.

The National Council on Problem Gambling was formed in 1972 as a non-profit organization whose mission is to disseminate information about compulsive gambling and to promote the development of services for those afflicted with the disorder. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NCPG operates a 24-hour hotline to assist potential problem gamblers in seeking treatment.

"This is exactly the kind of program that companies in the gaming industry are encouraged to undertake. The straight-forward, non-judgmental message is designed to help individuals with gambling problems find appropriate assistance," said Keith Whyte, executive director of NCPG.

"GCA's sensitivity to problem gambling and its ongoing proactive collaboration with us is unprecedented in the cash access service industry," said Marvin Steinberg, Ph.D., who is an NCPG board member.

"Far more than recreational gamblers, problem gamblers borrow money while gambling. Global Cash Access recognizes that cash machines offer the opportunity to provide information about where help is available and to offer immediate access to such help," said Steinberg.

Formed in 1998 through a joint venture of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC) and USA Processing, Inc., Global Cash Access ( provides a full range of electronic funds transfer and other services to more than 1,200 gaming properties nationwide.

Global Cash Access
Leslie Reagan, 615/370-7161
National Council on Problem Gambling
Keith Whyte, 410/730-8008
Also See: After Two Years of Study, Federal Commission Reports That Gambling Has Serious Consequences for America / June 1999

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