It is of critical importance that the values unifying the industry during the seven day Safer Gambling Week are embedded into company culture, and are at the forefront of “everything that we do,” says Betsson Group.

The comments come as part of the latest introduction to CasinoBeats’ SGW series, which also coincides with the campaign’s final day after initially getting underway on Thursday 19 November.

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Gamban, YGAM, Microgaming, and Amber Gaming, Eduards Jakubovs, head of responsible gaming at Betsson Group, takes to the hot seat.

“At Betsson Group we always support such initiatives which aim to raise more awareness about the importance of responsible gambling,” he says on the company’s undertaking during 2020’s campaign. 

“We believe the SG Week and other similar initiatives are incredibly important as they further educate both the staff working in gaming companies but also the general public. They also show that gaming companies actually do quite a lot of effort to prevent any gambling behaviour which could put any individual at risk. 

“It further communicates that as companies, we’re not searching for problem gamblers and we invest in a lot of processes and tools to prevent just that. Essentially, we’re after recreational players who use our products purely for entertainment purposes. 

“As Safer Gambling Week was approaching, we launched an e-learning course in responsible gaming. This was over and above the usual courses and sessions we hold every year. 

“The training was created and tailor-made for us by Sustainable Interaction – a company with several years of experience in specialised in products and training in responsible gambling. The training also included videos from Betsson Group’s senior management explaining how we work with responsible gaming in different departments. “

The annual campaign was first rolled-out 2017 to unite all sectors of the gambling industry, with 2020’s edition taking place this year from November 19-25. Estimations suggest that over 100,000 staff at more than 9,000 gambling venues and online sites will have participated.

Spearheaded by trade associations the Betting and Gaming Council, The Bingo Association and the British Amusement Catering Trade Association, who are joined again this year by the Association of Irish Bookmakers, ‘Let’s Talk About Safer Gambling’ has remained the strapline.

With this in mind, Jakubovs moves on to look at what message he hopes that both stakeholders and the general public take away from the week: “Such initiatives are important to further educate and raise awareness on safer gambling policies,” he says.

“The key takeaway should be to show that gaming operators are not looking for problem gamblers or trying to retain problem gamblers. We, and others, have been working on preventing problem gambling and have been investing in this for many years.”

The objective of the SGW campaign is to trigger a national conversation about safer gambling, highlighting the tools, advice and help available to customers, and the initiatives being taken by operators and supporters to promote social responsibility throughout the year.

To conclude, Jakubovs examined how the industry can ensure that the momentum built up during 2020, and particularly the previous seven day period, can be maintained moving forwards: “We constantly invest in such campaigns and have launched several initiatives across the globe. For example, once we launch in Kenya, our focus will be on responsible gaming.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we ran several campaigns to raise awareness amongst our customers on problem gambling and highlight the several tools that they can use to keep their gambling safe.” 

Adding: “These are initiatives that we invest in all year round and try to get customers engaged and involved in such campaigns too. 

“I think what is critical is the values that we declare during this seven-day period are something that we live by all year round. It is important that these processes and values are embedded in the company culture and are top of mind in everything that we do.”