Time to Focus on the Value of Responsible Gambling

Time to Focus on the Value of Responsible Gambling

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Responsible Gambling Council CEO encourages multi-faceted approach

Jon Kelly, the CEO of the Toronto-based Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) in Canada, believes that it is essential to listen to a range of perspectives when trying to devise strategies to tackle problem gambling.

Kelly, who will participate in the World Regulatory Briefing (WrB) in London next month, leads an independent, non-profit organisation that is committed to reducing problem gambling.

Over the past three decades, RGC has spearheaded research and development, social marketing campaigns, employee training schemes, standards development and gained critical insight from constructive relationships with gaming providers, regulators, researchers, policy makers and gamblers.

“The RGC has established very positive working relationships with a wide range of regulators and gaming providers from Singapore to London to Vancouver,” Kelly told TotallyGaming.com.

“We believe it is essential to hear the perspectives of everyone, including gamblers and problem gamblers, in order to find ways to reduce the risk of gambling problems. This philosophy underlies everything we do.”

Kelly is convinced that it makes sound business sense for gaming operators to take a genuine interest in tackling problem gambling.

“The RGC has been increasingly focused on the issue of demonstrating the value of ‘responsible gambling’ investments,” he added.

“We are asked frequently about the impact of responsible gambling and its usefulness and value. We know that our colleagues in the industry are asked regularly to justify the investment in this area.

“The RGC and many gaming providers have pointed to many benefits such as sustainability, customer expectations, regulatory requirements and so on. There is evidence to support this contention, but there has been limited systematic investigation of how responsible gambling impacts upon gaming business and their various stakeholders. 

“It is our view that there are many excellent safeguards in place around the world.  The real value of responsible gambling provisions has been underestimated and understated.

“The RGC has begun a large-scale project to develop a methodology to more clearly identify and articulate the value of responsible gambling . The WrB has also identified this issue as an important one to the future of the industry and we are keen to hear and contribute to the discussion.”

The WrB will focus on a range of regulatory matters for the global gaming industry. While Kelly says that gaming in Canada is “probably not growing”, he does believe there has been a shift in focus and products, bringing new challenges.

“There is constant concern about attracting young people to replace an aging population of gamblers,” he added.   “ As the demographics change so must our approach to promoting safe play”

 “The gaming industry has introduced a wide series of safeguards including such provisions as voluntary play and time limits, many forms of player information designed to promote informed decision making, advertising standards, play analytics, credit limitations and many more,” he added.

“The reduction of gambling problems, like risk reduction in any field, requires a broad set of safeguards. There is no single fix.”

Visit www.wrbriefing.com for more information about the World Regulatory Briefing, which will take place in London on September 10.

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