It’s been another busy week in the world of Safer Gambling so let’s take a look at what’s been going on.
GambleAware

As part of their ‘policy of open data’, through the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC), GambleAware have released their data records regarding the treatment and support of gambling-related harm that was provided in the UK for 2019 and 2020. This will give a greater number of academics the ability to interrogate the data on the impact of gambling harms.

GambleAware will also make their ‘Annual Treatment & Support surveys available through the CDRC. These surveys are conducted by YouGov and provide detailed information on the make-up of participants engaged with their support and treatment services. This will enable greater insight on both the participation of and the barriers preventing certain demographics from accessing treatment.

Interim Research Director at GambleAware Alison Clare said: “We are pleased that this rich data set is now freely available to academics and researchers across GB and elsewhere in the world.

“GambleAware currently uses only a small proportion of this data in our Annual GB Treatment & Support report and GB maps showing gambling harms prevalence and treatment demand at ward level.

“There is so much more that researchers from a range of disciplines could do with it through secondary analysis and investigation. Longer-term, we hope that the catalogue of data sets held by the CDRC in this field will grow, with others’ also making their data openly available to the wider field.”

EPIC Risk Management

In other big news, EPIC Risk Management have announced the names on their ‘Pro Sport Advisory Board’, which aims to highlight and reduce the threat of gaming and gambling harm in elite sport.

The board consists of nine people who have a range of specialities, including in professional sports, esports, gambling, addiction, sports integrity, athlete welfare and lived experience of gambling harm.

They will direct EPIC’s strategic approach in relation to the treatment of gambling-related harm and addiction in elite sport. Focus will be on the risks that such harm poses to both athletes and their families, as well as to sporting integrity.

EPIC Risk Management’s CEO and founder, Paul Buck, said: “We are extremely proud to announce such a diverse and wide-ranging advisory board.

“EPIC firmly believes in collaboration as the way to solve problems and that is why we are including members from different parts of the ecosystem. We invite and already have interest from different sports in different countries and we hope the board will grow to be a global thought leader in gaming and gambling harm prevention.”

GAMSTOP

Speaking of appointments, GAMSTOP have hired former Entain director Simon Reynolds as a Non-Executive Director, expanding their senior management team.

Reynolds will be charged with implementing both guidance and best practice directed at operators. Another aim will be to improve the integrity of the online self-exclusion team.

Jenny Watson, Chair of GAMSTOP, said: “We are delighted that Simon has agreed to join the board and look forward to working with him in the future. We will always put the consumer at the heart of our service but it is important for us to also hear from operators and I know Simon will bring welcome insight to our discussions.”

France

Moving to France and their national regulatory agency, L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), recently hosted their first ‘citizen workshop’ in relation to gambling advertising.

The research gathered will form part of their ‘public consultation phase’ on the levels of gambling advertising, which was launched just after this summer’s Euro 2020 tournament.

More ‘citizen workshops’ will be held later in the month across France, with views sought from all sections of society on how to update advertising law in relation to gambling, as well as how to protect young people. The review has come about as the ANJ believe operators failed to heed warnings about marketing saturation ahead of Euro 2020.

A questionnaire will follow these workshops, with the research being fed into the consultation, alongside contributions from France’s ARPP (Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority) and France’s public health network.

Netherlands

Moving to the Netherlands and Sander Dekker, the Dutch Minister for Legal Protection, has responded to the revelation that two lotteries were promoted on a mental health charity’s website.

It was revealed by Dutch investigative journalists at Follow the Money that adverts for the Dutch National Lottery and charitable lottery Vriendenloterij appeared on MIND’s website.

Dekker said: “I can imagine it at least raises questions as to why an organization that aims to improve mental health and support people with mental health problems and their families promotes lottery buying on their website and connects it directly to mental health.”

He said the issue had already been broached with MIND, who have since removed the adverts, while he urged regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) to “pay attention” to the case.

In response to a further question, Dekker said there was no evidence to suggest young people suffering from gambling-related harm had been pushed to gamble after seeing advertisements for the National Lottery’s sports betting product Toto. He also rejected the notion that more people are encouraged to gamble by seeing adverts for the National Lottery.

He continued: “It is not the case that government policy for the lottery is to encourage as many people as possible to gamble. The Dutch Lottery should be able to advertise to get players to the legal offering.”

Australia

In Australia, their National Survey of Interactive Gambling has shown that although the prevalence of gambling has dropped in every state since 2010-11, there has been an increase in problem gambling.

The survey was performed by Central Queensland University (CQUniversity), who were commissioned by Gambling Research Australia. Fifteen thousand people were asked about the influence of gambling for the ‘Second National Study of Interactive Gambling in Australia’.

In 2019-20, the percentage of adults who had participated in a gambling activity at least once in the last year was 56.9%. This compares to 64.3% for the same period nine years earlier.

Despite this decrease, there was an increase in the percentage of problem gamblers, as defined according to the PGSI test. For online players, the figure had jumped from 2.7% in 2010-11 to 3.9% in 2019-20, while the percentage for land-based players leapt from 0.9% to 1.4%. The use of offshore gambling sites had jumped too, from 25.8% of online gamblers in 2014 to 47.1% in 2019.

Electronic gaming machines such as Pokies were deemed to be the biggest contributor to gambling-related harm, while key predictors of harm included being male, buying instant scratch lottery tickets, and having lower mental and/or physical health.

Ukraine

Shifting to Ukraine and gaming regulator the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) has announced its procedures for dealing with unlicensed operators.

In an accompanying statement, KRAIL said: “The conduct of online gambling should be carried out on the basis of the proper licence being issued in accordance with the requirements of the law.

“Operators should adhere to the agreed upon licencing conditions in the field of online gambling, using the appropriate online organisation systems, and exclusively through websites which have been specifically registered, and with a mandatory connection to the state’s online monitoring system.”

Finally, ahead of this week’s SBC Summit CIS, Paul Dent, Gambling Therapy Manager at Gordon Moody Association, raised an interesting question – Who Is Responsible for Safer Gambling? It’s definitely worth a Friday afternoon read.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Andrew Morgan. Director, Dam Mad Media

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