Panellists were put against the clock at the recent Canadian Gaming Summit, as Martin Lycka, SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling at Entain, quizzed the five strong line-up on three key problem questions.
In a debate session that was titled ‘responsible gaming as a driver for growth’, and that began with talk of Quebec’s maple syrup monopoly, the 45 minute discussion delved down a multitude of key avenues.
As we continue to relive our Ontario escapades, the concluding edition of our three-part special saw the panellists quizzed on what needs to happen long-term to achieve overarching responsible gambling goals.
Dan Spencer, Director of Safer Gambling at Epic Risk Management, Aaron GlynWilliams, Director of Social Responsibility at OLG, Shelly White, CEO of the Responsible Gambling Council, Nav Sandhawalia, Chief Compliance and Risk Officer at Niagara Casinos, and Jacob Coin, Executive Advisor to the Chair of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, gazed into their crystal balls.
ML: Looking ahead, what needs to happen next on RG, or even the wider consumer protection front, to achieve the so coveted long term sustainability of the Ontario market or the markets beyond? Is it a matter of quality or quantity?
DS: There’s lessons from Europe that have to be learned. We’ve been talking about this for years at this point, and the same mistakes are still being made.
“I think having a certain bar that everybody must meet is important”Nav Sandhawalia, Chief Compliance and Risk Officer at Niagara Casinos
So if you look at Europe, Europe’s journey, the mistakes we made were that the marketing message wasn’t right for the customers, we didn’t break the link between payday loan companies and gambling companies and we didn’t we didn’t protect those vulnerable customers in the right way. We actually treated the problematic customers, the VIP customer.
So those three things have already happened in North America, we’ve already not learned those lessons … some operators out there have already tripped over those wires that were easily to avoid.
If we look forward to the future of what needs to happen across this, I’m talking about global industry here, we need RG in every boardroom. In every boardroom of every operator, the highest person in your team for RG needs to be in the boardroom. That’s how important it is. They need to be on a comparative salary to those that are working in the commercial side of your business, because RG is a commercial side of the business.
NS: I think we need to do a better job at collaborating with the stakeholders that we have, especially among operators. I think having a certain bar that everybody must meet is important.
I think there’s an opportunity to get better. I think that’s an opportunity. And in terms of quality over quantity, I think it’s both.
“Don’t rest on your laurels, heed the warnings, do the work, get your RG priorities out of your backlogs”Aaron GlynWilliams, Director of Social Responsibility at OLG
I think the quantity of the message needs to continue to increase. We need to get more creative with the RG message.
I’ve seen some ads from online gaming companies that are quite funny, but it gets the message across in a different way. So I think from a marketing perspective we need to get a bit more creative, and I’m speaking about ourselves and the industry in general.
JC: I fully agree that there needs to be greater coordination and collaboration among the operators in Indian country.
For example, if someone were to self exclude or self ban from San Manuel, nothing stops them from going to Morongo 18 miles away and playing in their casino, or Agua Caliente another 20 miles away.
So there’s got to be some kind of an understanding among tribes and tribal properties that we’re all in this together, at least to some degree. We obviously are not going to all have the same kinds of commitments, but it’d be nice if we could at least agree on a bar that’s high.
AG: Don’t rest on your laurels, heed the warnings, do the work, get your RG priorities out of your backlogs and move your programmes and move your policies forward. We have all kinds of examples from Europe, we also have seen what’s happened in Australia.
“…we’ve got a solid foundation to build upon in this country that is going to, I believe, influence other markets globally”Shelly White, CEO of the Responsible Gambling Council
What kind of effort would we be willing to put in to protect the fact that our customers want to use their credit cards? What kind of effort would we be willing to put in to protect the fact that we want to run ads during sports broadcasts? And before 9pm? What kind of effort would we put into the fact that we want to avoid getting a $450m fine?
These are real examples of what happens when you don’t focus on our GE and move your programmes and your policies forward. There are lessons to be learned.
SW: I’m going to try to summarise in four points, what we talk about at RGC at the board level and at the staff level, in terms of what needs to be done next.
We’ve done a lot, and we’ve got a solid foundation to build upon in this country that is going to, I believe, influence other markets globally.
First of the four points is prevention, secondly, data analytics and research, thirdly, measurement, evaluate any evaluation and the fourth is a pan Canadian approach.