Takeaways from the Ethical Gambling Forum 2024

BetBlocker delves into last week’s proceedings in Gibraltar, and explains the importance of such events while highlighting the need for greater resource in the responsible gambling sector
The post Takeaways from the Ethical Gambling Forum 2024 first appeared on EGR Intel.  

BetBlocker was lucky enough to participate in this year’s Ethical Gambling Forum on 7-8 May in Gibraltar and we thought we would share some of our thoughts on this great event with the wider sector.

On the ground, Pedro Romero was speaking on panels throughout the two-day event, touching on the topics of how sustainability is part of the modern industry and how to ensure that safer gambling is at the heart of environmental, social and governance (ESG) culture, Meanwhile, BetBlocker’s founder, Duncan Garvie, dialled in for an end-of-conference panel discussion on partnerships within the sector that are driving forward projects to improve outcomes for people impacted by gambling-related harm.

It’s fantastic to see such a high level of interest in an event focused on the sustainability of our sector. The roster of speakers was a Who’s Who of authoritative voices. From Andrew Lyman, Gibraltar Gambling commissioner, to well-known compliance and social responsibility consultants, the attendee list was a testament to our efforts to drive sustainability in gambling and gaming.

In short, there was a real depth of knowledge and spectrum of viewpoints on show throughout the event and it’s very encouraging to see higher interest from the decision-making levels within the sector.

Events like this are pivotal to the growth and development of the industry. All of the stakeholders in the sector are growing and looking to improve how they approach not only safer gambling but wider social and environmental issues, and ensure the communities that participate in gambling are respected and have confidence the industry functions in a fair and ethical fashion. Events like the Ethical Gambling Forum facilitate the sharing of best practice and innovation. They allow for innovation by sharing successes with our peers and discussing how challenges can be overcome.

For BetBlocker, this represented the perfect opportunity to speak about our work with GambleAware and Yellow Scarf – a charity providing minority communities in the UK access to therapy in their native languages – to translate BetBlocker into Polish, Ukrainian and Russian. We know from experience that user volumes for BetBlocker increase significantly whenever we add a new language to the app. Generally, we see an increase of between four and 10x.

Projects like this don’t always get the attention they deserve. Both BetBlocker and Yellow Scarf are relatively small teams but punching above their weight – a handful of very motivated people and a small budget. GambleAware’s support, both financially and in facilitating dialogue between organisations with natural synergy helps bring undertakings of this nature to fruition. But we don’t have big marketing budgets, so we have to graft to make noise about what we’re doing. Events such as this are manna from heaven for projects like ours.

However, there is also a risk to ESG associated with player protection, specifically the potential cannibalisation of safer gambling resources and the burden of additional responsibilities placed on these teams, as it is not uncommon for both pillars to come under one jurisdiction. There is an obvious and natural synergy in these areas. However, some businesses can use ESG initiatives as greenwashing and as a distraction from player protection. They both tie in closely to social responsibility, ethical business practice and consumer confidence. And that can make it tempting to add the ESG remit to the responsibilities attributed to the safer gambling team rather than viewing it as a distinct role in its own right.

Why is this a problem? Resources. The majority of safer gambling teams in the sector are resource challenged and, with the rapidly increasing regulatory focus on player protection, the workload for these teams is ever increasing. Piling additional responsibilities, for what is an organisation-wide cultural initiative, can only result in one of two things: player protection not receiving the attention it should or ESG becoming a second-tier priority within the sector.

So, applaud and support events like the Ethical Gambling Forum. Let’s ensure they grow year on year and that the C-level members of your team see it as a priority to have representation there and at similar events. But let’s also keep in mind that we can’t borrow from Peter to pay Paul. Let’s also ensure our safer gambling teams and our ESG responsibilities are viewed as separate priorities for gambling businesses.

The post Takeaways from the Ethical Gambling Forum 2024 first appeared on EGR Intel.


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