In addition to the Responsible Service of Gaming, some staff must be trained on the role of a Customer Liaison Officer. This is the person who looks out for the venue’s patrons, offering advice and support for those who may be suffering from problem gambling.
All licensed venues must ensure that a senior/responsible staff member performs the role of a Customer Liaison Officer, to establish and continue open communication channels with local gambling-related support services and relevant local community networks. This appointment is at the manager’s discretion; in some instances, this may be the manager themselves.
The Customer Liaison Officer (CLO) is the ‘first point of call’ for all staff who feels that their regular gambling patrons have exhibited signs of problem gambling. It is the CLO’s role to ensure that they have secure lines of communication with local help and support services, to best advice and aid those patrons seeking help and advice. In other cases, it will fall upon the CLO to issue bans or exclusions to patrons who are gaming irresponsibly and causing an issue for the venue.
The tasks associated with this role do not warrant the development of a new position, but rather incorporate a current role over and above that already in place, e.g. Managerial Roles. The Customer Liaison Officer (CLO) could make contact with the local (nearest) Gambling Help Service provider, to open up communication and establish a relationship that will assist the gambling provider to deal with any problem gambling issues that may arise in the future. They could contact the local Gambling Help Service and invite them to conduct a training session for the hotel staff.
These training sessions could focus on equipping gaming staff with information and strategies to help patrons with gambling problems, together with conflict resolution, physical and mental signs of stress and stress management. Over and above that of the staff’s current Responsible Service of Gaming training, ensuring that the best support service possible is available for patrons.
The CLO would also be responsible for establishing and maintaining a Community Network Register if required. This staff member would then meet with and listen to any issues raised from the network group, in addition to attending meetings of the group whenever practicable. This ensures that the CLO and staff are up to date with current knowledge on Gaming legislations, support and help services and procedures.
Other roles of the CLO include services such as liaising with patrons and their families in regard to problem gambling habits, advising of the best solution to their behaviours, issuing and arranging meetings with help service consultants to provide aid and support, and in extreme cases, issuing venue or self-exclusions to patrons that either do not want the aid of help services or who feel that they would be best to be excluded while they find their own aid.
Being the Customer Liaison Officer is a major responsibility, but is an integral part of running a successful and supportive gaming venue. If you need a CLO or feel that you could be a CLO yourself, find out more by visiting our website and start your online Customer Liaison Officer training.