AT a time when British gambling is braced to take a substantial hit from the curbing of fixed-odds betting terminals, it may come as a surprise to many that the casino sector was recently praised for its willingness to implement responsible gambling initiatives.
Playing Safe, the casino sector’s responsible gambling body, presented its annual report at a House of Commons reception last month, where it stressed that “the willingness of [casino] operators to collaborate and learn from each other is very encouraging”.
Such initiatives have become an intrinsic part of the industry, and even the most old-school of betting operators will concede that there presence is an ultimately positive one.
Dr Guy Bohane, an academic with a PhD in Business Ethics, heads up Playing Safe. CasinoBeats recently caught up with him to find out about some of the body’s recent projects:
“Concerns about the ‘normalisation’ of gambling for young people have been identified by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board as a strategic priority for the industry and Playing Safe was commissioned by the National Casino Forum to conduct a pilot research project to assess young adults’ gambling behaviour and playing strategies in casinos.
“The objective was to consider ways of improving the support and guidance for younger players and to better inform casino staff about the issue,” said Bohane.
“Focus groups were held with younger gamblers and the insights into how to produce better, more targeted messaging for these customers will be shared amongst operators.
“Another project was developing a dedicated online learning package for casino managers when dealing with potentially vulnerable customers who might have a range of cognitive difficulties, such as autism and dementia, or a mental health condition.
“The programme has been developed to help managers develop their practical skills, making engagement and interaction with potentially vulnerable customers more effective.
“Playing Safe also carried an evaluation of casinos’ participation in the first ever industry-wide Responsible Gambling Week, visiting six casinos, interviewing staff and monitoring activity across all Genting casinos in the UK,” continued Bohane.
“We hope our recommendations will help inform the sector’s approach to this year’s Responsible Gambling Week, which is taking place in October.”