Karin Wilfinger, Prevention Officer at ADMIRAL Casinos & Entertainment AG, talks about job training, guest service and the daily business of a Prevention Officer.
THE WORLD OF GAMING: Mrs Wilfinger, you have been working as a prevention officer in the NOVOMATIC subsidiary ADMIRAL for seven years. How did you come into this job?
Karin Wilfinger: I’ve been active in the gaming industry for many years and the topic of prevention, in particular, has always seemed very interesting to me. That is why, seven years ago, I decided to become a prevention officer.
TWOG: What is the actual job behind the title prevention officer’?
KW: Prevention officers, so to speak, are specially trained guest advisors. This means that one of our main responsibilities is to inform our guests about gambling and the risks involved, as well as to answer general questions about gaming and player protection.
TWOG: Does the profession of a prevention officer require special training?
KW: Yes. A special training course is offered in close cooperation between ADMIRAL and the Anton Proksch Institute in Vienna, where employees receive comprehensive training in topics such as gambling addiction prevention, but also in techniques for guest communication and interviews.
TWOG: What does your typical workday look like?
KW: My main task is to engage in informational dialogue with our guests. I also act as a point of contact for all types of guest inquiries or complaints and my main goal is to promote a responsible use of our products. Not one day is the same – it is a very varied job. I constantly meet new people and every conversation is different. We are seeking dialogue with our guests because we want to get to know them better. In addition, we are also obliged by the Austrian Gambling Act to actively approach our guests for information purposes, in particular, our regular guests.
TWOG: How does such an informative conversation take place?
KW: First and foremost, it takes place directly in the ADMIRAL branch office. We attach great importance to communication at eye level. We do not want to lecture or patronize our guests. We merely seek to provide information about certain topics. This also includes legally binding conversation content. For example, the guest has to be informed about the possibility of a voluntary self-restriction.
TWOG: What sort of feedback do you receive from guests about the information dialogue?
KW: After a natural initial skepticism the guests usually take confidence and warm up to the conversation. In retrospect, they are generally grateful for the information we provide. I also very often receive positive feedback for our player protection measures in these discussions.
TWOG: Apart from the informative dialogue, how can guests find out more about Responsible Gaming and player protection measures at ADMIRAL?
KW: We have created a dedicated information brochure for our guests with the title ‘Entertainment with Responsibility’. This includes, among other things, tips for Responsible Gaming behavior, a self-test, information on self-restriction and contact details of counseling facilities. The brochure is now available in more than ten languages. Our information service is freely accessible in the ADMIRAL branches as well as on our website, offering detailed information about our player protection measures, playing conditions as well as the visiting and gaming house rules. Of course, guests or relatives can also contact our local staff for questions about gambling addiction and prevention, or call a free and anonymous counseling hotline.
TWOG: Which possibilities for voluntary selfrestriction does ADMIRAL offer?
KW: There are three possibilities. First, the visit agreement, which concerns the limitation of monthly visits for a period chosen by the guest. Second, the loss limit with the limitation of weekly or monthly gaming capital for a period chosen by the guest. And third, the auto-lock, which imposes a general break for a period of time chosen by the guest. In order to assist our guests in their choice of the individual measures, we offer them detailed information in a personal conversation about the different possibilities of self-restriction.
TWOG: Which aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?
KW: Some of the greatest pleasures in my job are the contact with the most diverse people, the great flexibility and also that no day is like the other.
(from: The Word of Gaming, house organ magazine NOVOMATIC AG)