Available in leading venues across NSW and Qld, the rollout of OK2PLAY? continues as the industry recognises its effectiveness in providing essential one-on-one contact for patrons requiring support.
The OK2PLAY? technology removes the barriers involved with reaching out for help directly to staff by providing multiple check-in points around venues at which patrons are asked, “Are you OK2PLAY?”. Patrons can respond “no”, triggering an alert with Senior Staff to initiate an immediate, discreet response to connect with the patron.
Moorebank Sporties was the first Australian venue to adopt OK2PLAY? technology. CEO, Jeff Gibbs, said, “It is our responsibility to provide care to patrons. I definitely believe the anonymity will assist those that need help. Gaming is a social experience. Technology is anonymous and also non-judgemental and I believe we would have more accurate welfare checks using technology”.
Mario Machado, CEO of Hornsby RSL stated “We recently had a representative of “Gamble Aware Week” from Wesley Mission at Hornsby RSL who was shown the OK2PLAY? initiative. She was very impressed with the concept and the forward initiative shown by the Club. This kind of feedback from outside qualified sources reinforces our beliefs that we are making good decisions and making Hornsby RSL a comfortable environment for difficult conversations, such as asking for support”.
Central Coast Leagues Club CEO, Edward Camilleri, explained, “For most of our patrons coming to our venue is an enjoyable and entertaining experience. It would be irresponsible of us to assume that is the case for everyone though, and OK2PLAY? offered us the opportunity to ensure we recognise patrons who may not feel OK on a particular day, and to further build our relationships with them to assist them to find support in a timely manner”.
“The technology is simple for us as a club, and easy for patrons to use, and that’s the key. We want people to know it’s ok to ask for help here, and in fact, we encourage them to. It’s a chance for us to normalise the conversations where people need to ask for help, and that’s important”.
Caloundra RSL Club CEO, Graham Devin explained, “I believe it’s important we, as a community minded venue, raise this conversation in a positive manner. It isn’t about labels or identification. We believe raising awareness of the potential issue of problem gambling amongst patrons is important for everyone, not just for those with problem gambling. Our goal is to provide an environment where people can find assistance in an empathetic and non-judgmental way”.
Neale Genge, Secretary Manager of Casino RSM Club explains, “It is not easy for someone to ask for help. If we can help connect our patrons with support, then that is a great first step forward for them and really what our Club is all about – being there for people and the community. By implementing OK2Play? we are investing in the support that we offer to the community and taking our responsibility as a community venue, seriously,” Mr Genge concluded.
The common theme amongst venues to adopt OK2PLAY? is a commitment to proactively remove any perceived barriers to ask for support and normalise the conversation within their venue.