Safer Gambling Weekly Round-Up by Dam Made Media
In the UK, GambleAware are looking to expand the range of services they provide, commissioning Adferiad Recovery to provide adults with gambling disorders further residential rehabilitation.
The three-year pilot project will also involve Gordon Moody, with the aim of enhancing the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) in this area. The service will be extended to cater for people suffering from alcohol and/or substance abuse disorders too, with a range of treatments offered including medically managed detoxification and acute mental health support.
The Chief Commissioning Officer at GambleAware, Anna Hargrave, said: “Adferiad Recovery and Gordon Moody’s proposal identified clear opportunities that can be delivered through a collaborative approach.
“We are pleased to have awarded this grant to these two highly experienced organisations and see it as an important step towards increasing the capacity and effectiveness of the National Gambling Treatment Service to ensure many more people get the help and support they need.”
Adferiad Recovery and Gordon Moody have a history of engaging positively with groups that are hard to reach, with additional goals seeing the duo support GambleAware in reducing barriers to access for and increasing engagement with ethnic minority communities, women and young people.
The aim is to create a ‘person-centred, goal-orientated and strengths-based’ system that enables sufferers to direct their own treatment in consultation with members of their family.
Crypto and Digital Assets Group
The British Parliament has set up ‘The Crypto and Digital Assets Group’, with the aim of assessing policies and regulation regarding crypto in the UK. The group will be cross-party and act as a forum to inform parliamentarians and enable them to debate innovations in the crypto space. As part of this, the group has pledged to combat economic crime and improve customer protections.
Chair of the new group, Lisa Cameron MP, said: “We must ensure that we have an appropriate regulatory framework in the UK which supports innovation and guarantees that the UK remains an attractive destination for innovative firms to set up and grow.
“It is equally vital that we have a clear regime to protect consumers, ensuring they understand the risks, and are protected from the risk of economic harm posed by fraud and scams.”
2005 Gambling Act
Ahead of the forthcoming review of the 2005 Gambling Act, which is widely expected to include the banning of football shirt sponsorship by betting companies, it has been announced that the English FA will no longer permit bookmakers to stream live FA Cup matches.
A deal was cut with sports media rights agency IMG to sell individual FA Cup live stream packages to six bookmakers in 2017, but this has courted controversy in the media.
In response, the Betting and Gaming Council stressed that “bookmakers had never sought to hold exclusive rights to screen FA Cup matches”. The bookmakers did subsequently offer these packages for broadcast on terrestrial TV, but the conflict resulted in then DCMS Sports Minister Nigel Adams urging the FA to review their media rights policy.
Meanwhile, current DCMS undersecretary Chris Philip, who is in charge of the aforementioned gambling reforms, met football leaders on Thursday to ‘make clear’ the Government’s view of betting sponsorships, despite expected opposition from both the Premier League and the EFL.
Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM)
This week, the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) announced that Dr Jane Rigbye will become their new Chief Executive from 17 January.
YGAM says this is the start of ‘an exciting chapter’ for the charity. Before joining YGAM, Dr Rigbye worked for nine years at GambleAware in senior leadership positions. She has spent 15 years in roles related to public health, gaming and gambling, including working in the NHS.
Speaking of the appointment, the Chair of YGAM, Mike Wojcik, said: “I am delighted to announce this exciting appointment and welcome Dr Jane Rigbye to the charity. Her knowledge of the fields of harm prevention is exceptional and her achievements in this sector are outstanding. Dr Rigbye has the leadership qualities and vision to take YGAM to the next level. The Board of Trustees is looking forward to seeing what our new Chief Executive and our talented team can accomplish together in our mission to educate and safeguard future generations.”
Meanwhile, Dr Rigbye said: “I’m incredibly proud to be joining YGAM during an exciting period of growth. For many years, I have observed and admired the important work the organisation delivers, so I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to lead the team into the next strategic cycle. Prevention of gambling and gaming harm is more important than ever. I look forward to working collaboratively to deliver the impact that can be achieved through education.”
YGAM have also confirmed that Helen Martin will maintain her position of Chief Operating Officer having taken ‘additional responsibilities’ during the recruitment process following the departure of former CEO Lee Willows in October 2021.
Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH)
Speaking of YGAM, the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has accredited their ‘Mindful Resilience’ initiative – a specialist programme that gives health professionals both the ‘knowledge and understanding’ required to identify, support and refer people who are suffering from gambling related harm, as well as enabling them to highlight the NHS and National Treatment Network.
Caroline Gallagher, Director of Compliance & Quality Assurance at YGAM, said: “The RSPH accreditation is significant because it demonstrates the training content and delivery is of an exceptional standard and brings confidence and credibility for our audience.”
On Tuesday, it was announced that LVBet will work in partnership with Jada Gaming to develop their responsible gambling and social responsibility strategies.
The Jada Brain platform will be added to LVBet’s offering to boost their capabilities in the sphere of responsible gambling, with Jada also providing them with their data and analytics services. This should enhance LVBet’s visibility and predictive capabilities.
The CCO of LVBet, Marcin Jablonski, said: “Responsible Gaming is a passion and forms an incredibly important part of our overall business plan. Being able to handpick the RG modules from Jada’s solution means we can instantly enhance the business and deliver an even better customer experience.”
Jada’s models around bonus abuse and responsible gaming will also enable LVBet to monitor player behaviour better, thus protecting active players more robustly.
Moving to the Netherlands and the debate around gambling advertising rumbles on, with outgoing Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker writing to the Dutch lower house to say that more research is needed before a ban on untargeted advertising in the country is introduced. A motion was tabled last month on new advertising restrictions, and these included a ban on untargeted ads.
In his response, Dekker said: “A number of policy choices have to be made about, among other things, the delineation of ‘untargeted advertising’ and also for which media outlets the restrictions would affect. It must also be clear what the expected effects are in realising this objective, on the goals of the games of chance policy and contributions to charities and sports. It is also important to have a good overview of the effects on sponsorship and on land-based games of chance. Finally, it must be clear how any tightening respect European law, in particular the free movement of services and freedom of expression.”
Dekker said the new incoming government and regulator KSA must conduct “a thorough analysis of the possibilities and their effects”. Further decisions are expected in April, as is the result of a feasibility study on the potential for mandatory timeslots in online advertising to mirror those in broadcast.
In related news, TV channels in the Netherlands will limit gambling advertising to just one 30-second ad per commercial break from the beginning of February.
Dekker also took the opportunity to warn operators about the strict rules to which they must currently conform regarding advertising, with a focus on protecting both minors and socially vulnerable groups.
Speaking of gambling advertising, the Finance Minister of Armenia has also called for stricter rules regarding its practice in the country, with recommended updates to the country’s existing Advertising Law following models already adopted in Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Georgia.
Proposals include marketing being restricted to hotels rated four stars or above, border checkpoints and ‘in the front of buildings carrying out the similar business activities’.
Moving to Spain and the Comision Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) – the Spanish competition and markets watchdog – has backed a number of initiatives in the country’s new rules on online gambling. These include the imposition of loss limits for every iGaming session.
The rules were submitted to the CNMC last October following a consultation that opened in July. Key proposals included mandatory loss and time limits for every online casino session, along with a ban on losses presented as wins. Furthermore, customers would be classed as ‘intensive players’ if they reached 50% of the maximum loss limits in Spain’s regulations on a monthly or weekly basis. As a result, they would then be barred from receiving bonuses.
“The CNMC considers that, in general terms, this decree does not present unjustified restrictions on competition, insofar as it is based on an overriding reason of general interest (public health in the form of prevention of gambling addiction) and insofar as the conditioning factors for the exercise of the activity present a correct adaptation to the principles of good regulation,” they said.
However, the CNMC did warn that operators would need both technical and legal support to honour their requirement to suspend players who were showing signs of problem gambling. They also suggested the need for periodic reviews of the measures.
They continued: “The threshold of restrictions imposed should not be considered static, but be subject to occasional review, especially when there are elements that vary.”
In Germany, the Unsere Kurve ‘fan alliance’ of supporters have issued a number of demands for both the Government and football clubs concerning betting sponsorship and advertising.
Worried about the ‘increased media presence’ of sports betting, they have urged the authorities to “finally accept responsibility through political regulation and voluntary commitments in football,” citing already stricter rules around tobacco, high-strength alcohol and pornography advertising.
They wish to see a ban on sports betting ads in stadiums and sports media, as well as a prohibition of athletes and former athletes from entering partnerships with operators, highlighting there are up to half a million problem gamblers in Germany, including 10% of professional and amateur athletes.
They also said: “Due to the type and placement of advertising, football fans and spectators will act as if sports betting is a natural part of football and fan culture.
“Advertising partners such as athletes, clubs and even the sports show or kicker give sports betting a serious image through their advertising platform and convey the message that they are harmless.
“Problematic gaming behaviour is particularly widespread among football fans. And it is precisely this that is promoted by sports betting providers, because they generate their immense profits mainly through frequent gamblers.”
The group have also demanded a ‘massive expansion’ of coverage and financial support for gambling addiction prevention. They also want sports betting to adopt a new message – “Profits do not increase significantly through mature expert knowledge”.
In addition, they have urged sports clubs to voluntarily pull betting partnerships by the start of July, as well as asking them to raise awareness of the risks of sports betting.
Unsere Kurve continued: “We call on politicians to immediately regulate the advertising of sports betting in public spaces more closely and to carry out intensive education and prevention.
“We demand that football associations and clubs refrain from cooperating and sponsoring contracts with sports betting providers. In the case of existing contracts, we demand restrictions on the visibility of advertising for sports betting as well as financial participation in independent educational and prevention work.”
Backing up all this, they have cited specific examples of policies and initiatives in England, Spain, Italy and Norway. The full statement in German can be found here.
Penn National Gaming
Finally, in the US, Penn National Gaming have backed the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) ‘Have A Game Plan. Bet Responsibly’ public service campaign. They will promote it on their digital platforms and social media accounts through Barstool Sportsbook, as well as at their land-based sportsbooks.