In the latest in a series of feature articles profiling numerous organisations appearing at next month’s CasinoBeats Summit, we take a further look at the staging of the inaugural Safer Gambling Forum.

Introduced to reflect the growing importance of tackling such issues, the forum has been developed to provide a platform for industry leaders to discuss all elements of problem gambling, from the political to the practical.

One such group appearing is Epic Risk Management, which works with a number of organisations and business business leaders as it strives to “take the problem out of gambling”.

Paul Buck, CEO of Epic, appearing on a panel entitled ‘On Message: Marketing’s Role in Prevention and Education,’ addressed what should be taken into account when assessing the fine line between entertainment and harm: “The potential impact on the customer in terms of vulnerability to gambling related harm should always be taken into account. Gambling is designed to be a fun activity/hobby and not as a money making scheme,” he stated. 

Responsible messaging and advertising can play a key role”

“Promoting safe play with the use of tools, such as deposit limits and time outs and effective interactions between an operator and customer, are all essential to ensure gambling remains entertainment and does not cross over to becoming harmful. 

“Ensuring each customer is verified thoroughly and affordability has been established, followed by effective monitoring of an account, are all needed to ensure that fine line is prevented from being crossed.”

Before moving on to what more needs to be done by the industry regarding the provision of effective messaging, and how can it be achieved: “Responsible messaging and advertising can play a key role in ensuring people are beginning and continuing their gambling journeys with the right mindset. 

“The effective promotion and normalisation of self management through the use of safer gambling tools can create a safe environment for a customer in which to play from the very start.

“Our work at Epic is centred around highlighting the dangers of problematic gambling through lived experience and harm minimisation education and risk management. 

Gambling is designed to be a fun activity/hobby and not as a money making scheme

“We work directly with the highest risk sectors for gambling related harm, including professional sport, gambling industry, financial services and education, where we believe that our methods allow people better informed choices around safer gambling, therefore reducing the risk of harm.

“We also deliver direct training to industry customer facing staff as to how to effectively identify and interact with potentially vulnerable customers.”

Buck’s participation at the event is to be alongside Asaf Cohen, VP of revenue at Optimove, Sarah Hanratty, CEO of the Senet Group, Fiona Palmer, CEO of Gamstop, Kev Clelland, education director at YGAM and Tal Itzhak Ron, CEO & Chairman, Tal Ron, Drihem & Co., Law Firm, as moderator.

Chaired by Graham Weir, founder and CEO at Safer Gambling Solutions, the SGF features five panel sessions following an initial ‘Leadership in Safer Gambling’ session.

Buck explained the importance of the SGF’s introduction to Betting on Sports: “To create the right culture around sports betting while in its infancy in the UK and the USA can have a positive impact on the way safer gambling is viewed, which can therefore minimise the potential for gambling related harm, in what is a new and as of yet not fully regulated environment.

The danger is that as a new and exciting market, the wrong culture is set”

“If we can promote safe play and advise and educate on the dangers of problematic gambling at this early stage, then the platform for a safe environment for sports betting can be created. 

“The danger is that as a new and exciting market, the wrong culture is set and then we see potential suicides, bankruptcies and relationship breakdowns, before we see fit for purpose regulation and a safer gambling mindset.”

Concluding: “I would hope to take away the confidence that the emerging sports betting market in the USA, and the mature one in the UK, will look to protect customers from the outset and begin this journey with the right culture , whilst learning from the mistakes that other countries made in the infancy of legalised sports betting. 

“As a company we will look to create and build relationships, where Epic can provide advice and expertise and have a positive and lasting impact on the creation and sustainability of safe and regulated sports betting across the globe.”

The conference takes place at Olympia London on September 17-20, alongside Betting on Sports – learn more and buy tickets for the CasinoBeats Summit here.

To find out more about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities at the Summit, please contact [email protected].