Progress is being made, but there’s still more to be done industry-wide, says Chris Graham, head of marketing at FSB, when examining various key issues amid the ongoing Safer Gambling Week 2020.

Representing the latest in CasinoBeats’ ongoing series to coincide with the campaign, Graham asserts a belief that messaging around the topic is much more prevalent now than it was 12 months ago.

“It’s a great opportunity to take stock and push safe gaming truly to the front of everyone’s mind at FSB. Of course, it’s a 365 day operation for us but this week allows us to spread the message to all of our internal departments more aggressively than ever,” Graham says of what SGW means for the firm, and current plans for the week.

“Our marketing and compliance team have joined forces to create a fact pack for all FSB employees on safe gaming generally, and the initiatives we’ve taken as a company in the last 12 months within this area. We’re also planning to have an SG focussed staff quiz during the week.”

SGW has retained its ‘Let’s Talk About Safer Gambling’ strapline for 2020, with the campaign set to see over 100,000 staff at more than 9,000 gambling venues and online sites participate. 

This is despite hundreds of betting shops and gaming establishments in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland being forced to keep their doors closed during the week

With the mind, Graham moves on to examine what key messages should be taken away: “I think it’s key that the public see that we are striving as an industry to continually improve practices around safe gaming. I’m sure we’ll see these messages communicated powerfully during SG week and that will have cut-through with the public.”

“I think the industry has tried to make this an all year round focus”

One of the key themes widely discussed thus far is that of ensuring that the industry continues to spread such messages all year round, and not just during one specific seven day period.

“I think the industry has tried to make this an all year round focus,” he continues. “Whilst we can always do better, I think safe gaming messaging is much more prevalent now than it was even 12 months ago. 

“This trend needs to continue into 2021 and vulnerable customers should always feel they have somewhere to turn at all times and this is within easy reach to them.”

Before moving on to examine if there is enough emphasis placed on responsible gambling when conceptualising new products: ”I think, being honest, there’s still more to do here industry-wide but we are making progress. 

“New products should offer control to the end user and part of that control is the ability to step away at any point. New products should be tempered within their output to offer a safe gaming experience to players and that needs to be at the front of mind during early conceptualising sessions.”

Amid such a year of such unexpected developments on a global scale, much has been said and written regarding a multitude of topics, with player safety often the crucial component.

As we prepare to bid a (not so) fond farewell to 2020, Graham concludes by looking at what crucial lessons he believes have been learned during the year: “Our main goal this year has been to build on our commitment to safe gambling through forming AML and safe gambling committees, as well as this we’ve also continued our commitment to AI responsible gambling technologies. 

“Thinking more generally, and with lessons in mind, again control is a key part of the equation. At FSB over the last year we’ve tried to make our world smaller and more intimately connected so there is a clear vision on our overall output and how this affects our Safe Gaming programme. Having this at the centre of our business and being conscious of a disrupted world and society in 2020 through COVID-19 has been a key learning.”