San Manuel Entertainment Authority (SMEA) has announced a partnership with the University of Las Vegas’ International Gaming Institute (IGI) for the formation of a new responsible gaming initiative dedicated to the “next generation” of gaming technology.
The program will seek to implement new-age responsible gaming practices into the tribe’s existing operations based on input from the IGI’s gaming behavioral experts. Recent spikes in popularity for virtual gaming and sports betting are expected to be a topic of interest for research.
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel is expected to be the initial site for the program, which will seek to promote healthy practices at a dealer-to-player level. Yaamava’ has already implemented what many consider to be industry-leading responsible gaming practices, including a system where family members can contact the casino and request that their relatives be barred from playing.
If the initial results are positive, there is a belief that the program would be extended to the Palms in Las Vegas, which was purchased by the San Manuel Board of Mission Indians (SMBMI) last year.
SMEA, which is an entity of the SMBMI, has coordinated other responsible gaming projects in the past, most notably with researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and the California Council on Problem Gambling.
Peter Arceo, the general manager of Yaamava’, said that the initiative seeks to pair traditional tribal values with cutting-edge gaming technologies in order for players to “be empowered and make responsible decisions.” He also mentioned the tribe’s history of responsible practices.
“For years, we have been recognized for our efforts in responsible gaming, which includes the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians being named ‘Responsible Business of the Year’ in 2021,” said Arceo.
The IGI’s executive director, Bo Bernhard, said he was excited to see the two organizations work together. According to Bernhard, “both partners in this project possess award-winning, shared, and longstanding commitments to responsible gaming,” and the goal for both sides is to “introduce a new level of research-based programs that reflect centuries of cultural commitment.”