Safer Gambling Weekly Round Up by Dam Mad Media – Part 2

Jenga - Safer Gambling
Welcome back to the Safer Gambling weekly round up for safer gambling week.
YGAM

To celebrate Safer Gambling Week, Clarion Gaming announced that the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) will become their first international charity partner.

Clarion will give YGAM access to their media brands and in-person events, allowing the youth-education charity to expand its reach, particularly internationally. The agreement will run through to next October.

This will see YGAM have a strong presence at ICE next February, as well as at iGB Live! in July. They will also feature prominently on ICE365.com.

Managing director of Clarion Gaming, Stuart Hunter, said: “As a team, we are really excited about the prospects of working in partnership with YGAM across a broad range of activities.

“One of our key pledges is to support the industry’s safer gambling and gaming undertakings and the partnership will enable us to do this in a number of ways including providing a platform for YGAM to promote its digital and in-person safer gambling training programmes, have a presence at the ICE London esports arena, continued presence in the Consumer Protection Zone and deliver safer gambling insight and content via ICE365.com and ICE VOX.”

Meanwhile, Ian Shanahan, director of business development and fundraising at YGAM, said: “We are delighted to receive this support from Clarion Gaming. Since we were founded in 2014, Clarion have been fantastic supporters of our social purpose and there’s no doubt they have played an important role in our growth and development.

“This partnership will provide our charity with an incredible platform to reach key stakeholders and help us achieve our objectives to safeguard future generations against the potentials harms of gaming and gambling. We’re looking forward to seeing what our two superb teams can achieve together.”

YGAM have also announced that CEOs and directors across the iGaming industry have pledged to participate in their Safer Gambling Training modules, which were developed with Betknowmore.

During the course of Safer Gambling Week, leaders will complete five online modules on topics including vulnerable customers, mental health, safeguarding, interacting with customers and support services.

Niall O’Connor of YGAM’s Safer Gambling Training team said: “We are pleased to see so many industry leaders committing to this training during Safer Gambling Week.

“It is really encouraging to see Chief Executives and Directors from across the industry getting involved including representatives from the Rank Group, Gamesys, Playtech, Broadway Gaming and many more. We’re looking forward to building on this to support more customer-facing teams to protect customers and prevent harm.”

In other YGAM news, on Thursday, it was announced they would be continuing their collaboration with Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, focusing both on education and safeguarding against gambling-related harm in the West Midlands area. Their Parent HUB will feature prominently.

Head of Delivery at YGAM, Sam Starsmore, said: “Working with the teams at Wolves has been fantastic. Raising awareness and delivering education on the potential harms associated with gambling is something that Wolves have been fully supportive of.

“Our work together will continue so we can appropriately armour young people with the knowledge for them to make more informed choices.”

Better Collective

Better Collective have announced they will launch Mindway AI’s self-assessment tool Gamalyze across all of their major sports betting media brands, with it already live on bettingexpert.com.

Gamalyze is a virtual card game where players aim to maximise their win. Decision making is analysed using validated neuroscientific principles. This provides strong insight into gambling behaviour and can be used to identify key characteristics associated with problem gambling.

The CEO and Co-Founder of Better Collective, Jesper Søgaard, said: “Responsible gambling is a very important part of our business philosophy. By implementing Gamalyze on our websites, we give visitors an opportunity to test their gambling habits and find out if their gambling behaviour presents as fun and entertaining, as it should be, or if it is potentially problematic.”

Head of Bettingexpert.com, Neil Smith, backed this up, saying: “Bettingexpert.com is the world’s biggest social network of sports betting tipsters. We have millions of visitors every year and with Gamalyze launched, we increase our focus on responsible gambling so our community can feel even safer when they visit our site.”

Denmark

In Denmark, the Government has announced the introduction of a mandatory ID card for all retail sports betting transactions. The aim is to reduce money laundering and match-fixing, but it will also be used as a way of verifying someone’s age. The scheme’s proponents also say it will protect gambling addicts as it could also be used to check whether someone has voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling.

Denmark’s Minister of Taxation, Morten Bødskov, said: “With the playing card, we do away with the opportunity to play anonymously in, among other things, football matches.”

He continued: “There is a need to tighten the rules in the gaming area. Many Danes – especially young men – have problems with gambling, and this often has major consequences for themselves, their future and their families. That is why we have agreed with a broad majority of the parliamentary parties to launch a playing card. It is a targeted bet, as this is where the problems with gambling addiction are greatest.”

Italy

In Italy, the Customs and Monopolies Agency have announced they will launch new app ‘Gioco Sicuro’ (Safe Play) later this month, with the aim of informing the public about licensed gambling operators.

The app will ‘allow Italian citizens to check the compliance of all dedicated and non-dedicated outlets, as well as the licensing of any gaming product’ and will counter the threat of Mafia-run gambling networks. In highlighting the scale of the problem, national anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho suggests that ‘a €20 billon black market turnover is probably an underestimation’.

GamCare

GamCare CEO Anna Hemmings has added a sober note to Safer Gambling Week, arguing that the public still do not feel that betting companies ‘are doing their part’.

Citing data from a recent YouGov poll, she said that ‘for people that we’re in touch with through our services, safer will often mean not at all’.

With only 28% of gamblers agreeing with the statement ‘gambling businesses are doing enough to ensure customers play safely’, she went to say that she hopes the forthcoming review of the 2005 Gambling Act ‘brings about the changes that people want to see’.

She also spoke of the importance of Safer Gambling Week too, highlighting that just a small fraction of people who need support actually seek it. The National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) suggests the figure is ‘around 3%’.

She said: “What is important during weeks like this is that we shine a light on gambling as a topic, the potential harms people can experience and the help and support that is available.

“We want people to reach out to us earlier – we know many don’t recognise they have a problem, for others stigma prevents them reaching out – regardless of how their gambling impacts their quality of life.”

Finally, there are three interesting long pieces this week. The first was ICE365’s interview with Deborah Roil, the brains behind Safer Gambling Week, which details the history of the event, what is expected this year and how COVID impacted safer gambling.

The Rank Group

The second relates to a speech given by Rank Group Chief Executive John O’Reilly at the ‘Reputation Matters: UK Gambling’s Future at Stake’ conference. Here, he muses on the 2005 Gambling Act and what is needed during the current review to ‘rewrite the industry’s historical flaws’.

The third details the Mind Your Game initiative launched by Entain and problem gaming support network Game Quitters six months ago. Its aim is to encourage responsible gambling and video gaming in esports, particularly as many gamers start to play at a very young age. Extensive playing time and obsession in video games can also tip into addiction. The article covers this, along with the game mechanics which have started to cause concern as video games become more popular.

Andrew Morgan, Director, Dam Mad Media
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