Euro Casino is a non-formal education method, useful for youth workers to sum up and evaluate a workshop/training course/youth exchange etc, as well as for youths and adults to assess their own learning process.
Aim: It is a teamwork game, which makes it a great tool to foster dialogue and increase interpersonal competencies, to develop leadership skills and assume responsibilities in a fun, yet serious way.
This method was developed by Gabriel Brezoiu (General Manager) and Diana-Adela Ionita (Head of Digital) and refined through several youth mobility projects (training courses and youth exchanges). Gabriel is a trainer, youth worker, social media expert, and project manager working in the youth field since 2007. As a non-formal education trainer in entrepreneurship, Gabriel is specialised in using design thinking, Business Canvas Model, creative expression, and digital tools methodologies to enhance young people and youth workers’ entrepreneurial spirit and to support them to transform their ideas into actions. Diana has academic studies in Communications with a focus on intercultural discourse (BA and MA) and complementary training in Advanced Facilitation, Psycho-pedagogy, Global Education, or Education for Development in a multicultural environment.
> Encourage the participants to assess their own learning process;
> Foster dialogue and increase interpersonal competencies;
> Develop leadership skills and assume responsibilities.
Structure of the process:
The tool was initiated and then refined through several youth mobility projects (training courses and youth exchanges).
> fake money (credits)
> stocks (open questions on A4 papers for the participants)
> minimum 3 facilitators;
> closed questions (to be put in the balloons);
> some gambling games (cards, dice, darts etc)
It consists of a simulation of a real casino, where each table brings new challenges for the participants. Depending on the nature of the programme we want to evaluate, the casino can have a very diverse range of tables (stocks, questions and gambling, psychometric challenges, memory or board games, etc.). Each team (4-6 people) has an equal amount of credits to start with and 2 minutes to set up a strategy. The tables with challenges
get opened one by one, starting with the safest options. After 30 minutes, all tables are opened. To take a challenge they have to pay. Each facilitator at the table can choose its own strategy (they can change prices, make special offers, accept to negotiate if asked etc.) and advertise the challenge like in a real casino . The team which has the biggest amount of credits in the end wins.
The debriefing will pursue the following: teamwork, group dynamic, involvement, roles in the team, leadership, content relevance, strategy of each team, lessons learned, the link with the other project activities etc.
This is also a strategy game, which allows participants to explore ways of setting and achieving a common goal within a team, take risks and learn from mistakes. Moreover, the large scale of possibilities to evaluate knowledge, skills and attitudes achieved during one specific programme (by challenging participants with specific related tasks) makes it a good option for any final non-formal evaluation activity.
Make sure you have enough facilitators to share the roles. During the game you will need
at least 1 person/table. You can also use one person to sell drinks or Internet connection , one to take the unattended credits and drop credits on the floor to see what others do. Also, if you want to record this on camera, do not count on table facilitators or participants, once they are in the game, they will forget to press play (set up the camera on Auto or have someone there just for this).
Make sure you have enough time to prepare the setting. Play casino music, use colour lights, balloons, dress formally, give tickets at the entrance. Be creative!
Being a very intense experience, prepare the debriefing really well. Make the challenges relevant for your project. For example, if your project is an Erasmus+ Youth Exchange about Entrepreneurship, the Question table can have: questions regarding the topic of the project (info found out during the sessions), general questions about different
cultural aspects of the countries represented in the project (experienced during intercultural night) or the European Union and Erasmus+ programme and also Monopoly-like challenges (lose/win credits, take another question, go to another table with challenges, etc.).
Written by: Gabriel Brezoiu & Diana-Adela Ionita, GEYC, Romania