Hard Rock International (HRI), the well-known casino operator has uncovered a new responsible gambling program while it may be closing down the integrated resort project in Spain.

HRI launched its new PlayersEdge program on Tuesday, which the company claims is the “first comprehensive gambling literacy and education program designed by a US-based gaming company.” The program will be available across all HRI and Seminole Gaming casinos using a mix of print, digital, web and social media along with live activations.

(The “designed by a US-based company” bit seems to be a reference to US rival MGM Resorts, which struck a deal in 2017 to utilize the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s GameSense responsible gambling program at MGM’s US casinos.)

Nevertheless, HRI says PlayersEdge will educate gamblers on “game facts and casino etiquette,” while helping them grow “positive play habits” by recognizing the warning signs of problem gambling and understanding their own behavior. PlayersEdge will also include voluntary self-exclusion options and referrals to problem gambling counseling services.

One of the ways by which HRI expects PlayersEdge to succeed where other programs have failed is by offering its messaging in “the lively voice of casino gamblers” with a “positive, fun and entertaining” tone,. For those looking for help, the tone will be “supportive and non-judgemental.”

As informed by Calvinayre.com, Paul Pellizzari, HRI VP of global social responsibility, said HRI’s employees will be “critical” to the success of PlayersEdge, and about 15k of HRI’s “guest-facing” staff will be trained on how to understand player behavior and inspire players to “talk openly” about “what’s healthy and fun, and what’s risky.”


The future of Hard Rock Entertainment World, HRI’s €2b project in Spain’s Catalan region is uncertain. The project was given permission in May 2018 and construction of its first phase was expected to start this June; however, HRI has not been able to finalize a deal for the land on which it hopes to build.

The land concerned was taken from its owners for construction of a theme park and the deed is held by the investment arm of the La Caixa bank currently. The previous owners have since demanded a higher price now that HRI is about to turn the land into a bigger moneymaker.

HRI’s local gaming license requires it to increase capital in its Spanish subsidiaries to 10% of the total planned expense – €200m if considering the whole shebang or €65m based on the first phase’s expected cost – by Thursday, December 5. HRI has till now flinched at making this investment until the land issues are resolved.

To allow more time for land negotiation, Catalan officials have supposedly been working on a plan to extend HRI’s gaming license. However, there’s no guarantee that this quarrel will be resolved anytime soon, and in the meantime, if HRI was to win the Greek integrated resort derby, one can easily guess it would be very happy to pull its Spanish ejection lever.

Kadin Taim is a web journalist and news enthusiast. He has been writing about casinos, politics and technology. An avid casino enthusiast, Kadin has done his Masters in Finance and Bachelors in Journalism.

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