As Responsible Gambling Week stands a mere hours away, CasinoBeats has caught up with a number of exhibitors from the inaugural Safer Gambling Forum that took place at the CasinoBeats Summit earlier this year.

The public face for the year-round commitment has set an objective of highlighting the tools, advice and help available to customers, as well as operator initiatives promoting social responsibility.

Below The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust, Gordon Moody Association, Epic Risk Management and Gamban discuss the growth of RG Week, what it means to themselves and their organisation, plans for the immediate future and the need to emphasise the issue year-round.

Lee Willows, CEO of YGAM

Minimising gambling-related harm is a very personal ambition for me, and the YGAM team and it is pleasing to see this being adopted by the wider industry; coordinated in a coherent way through the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. 

Since starting YGAM five years ago following my own problems with gambling it has been incredibly good to witness such a shift in attitude and priorities by all principle stakeholders.  Player protection is tough and getting the balance around commercials and social responsibility is a fine line.

Responsible Gambling Week provides an opportunity for the industry to amplify key player-protection messages in a structured and coordinated way.

Responsible Gambling Week for a charity like YGAM is like any other week. We will continue to facilitate our practitioner workshops, hold awareness events across universities, work with operators directly to deliver our safer gambling training, share insight at industry events as well as support any campaigns being run by our corporate partners.

My hope is that Responsible Gambling Week inspiring and encourages operators to continue to engage with charities such as YGAM as part of the campaign and throughout the rest of the year. With the upcoming LCCP changes we can together embed player protection and safer gambling in a coordinated way, unseen in any jurisdiction.

Adele Duncan, CEO of Gordon Moody Association 

As we approach this year’s National Responsible Gambling Week, I have had the chance to review how we have worked collaboratively with operators over the last two years and throughout the whole year to raise awareness of our services.  

At Gordon Moody Association we have been planning our own event to mark the week and are holding an open day at one of our rehab centres to showcase the great work that takes place at our residential gambling addiction treatment centres.  

We have invited a select list of people to attend from a range of organisations including operators, the Gambling Commission, GambleAware and their board members, but most importantly some of our ex-residents who will have the opportunity to explain about their recovery and what GMA has meant for them.  

During our collaborative working with operators, regulators, other providers and agencies, we always find that case studies and hearing the voices of lived experience always make the potential harm caused by gambling more real for those in the industry to ‘feel’ the impact in a more human, non-statistical, way.  

We look forward to sharing more with our partners to improve on understanding and awareness of gambling related harm, and tools to enable those at risk to manage this more effectively.

Paul Buck, CEO of Epic Risk Management

Epic Risk Management is fully committed to supporting the Responsible Gambling Week initiative, and we will be supporting and promoting the week by sponsoring responsible gambling panels and hosting workshops.

This allows us to build upon our core principles of driving awareness of gambling-related harm in order to identify and mitigate the human, financial, brand and reputational risks that problem gambling can create.

RG Week is a fantastic opportunity for the industry to come together and collaborate to promote a safer and responsible environment for customers. However, although it’s a very important week, responsible gambling is not just about one week in the year, our work involves raising awareness of it all year round.

We’ll also be continuing our work in education where we will see over a thousand students, raising awareness and educating them around the potential harms of gambling through our ground breaking programme. We look forward to supporting and leading conversations about responsible gambling during the week and we are very proud to being involved in the initiative.

Stephen Aupy, VP of strategic partnerships at Gamban 

I am glad to see that there seems to be greater emphasis on Responsible Gambling this year. However, I view RGW to be nothing more than ‘virtue signaling’ which cannot be constrained to one week.

It often feels like that the concept of ‘Responsible Gambling Week’ shifts the burden of responsibility disproportionately on the player, and confining this to a week could be viewed as irresponsible.

I would like to see a larger commitment to player protection throughout the year. Despite this, I’m very happy to see that the UKGC have now updated the LCCP regulations regarding how businesses interact with their clients. 

Businesses will now be required to focus on identifying and interacting with customers at risk of gambling related harm. With this having been announced recently, it seems that 2020 could be the year for a stronger focus on player protection.