Responsible Gambling Week incorporates Ireland for first time

Responsible Gambling Week incorporates Ireland for first time

Thursday, June 21, 2018 Posted by Michael Lawson
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The initiative will be supported by more than 800 Irish betting shops.

This year’s edition of Responsible Gambling Week will include Irish and Northern Irish businesses and organisations for the first time, the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) has announced.

The Irish Bookmakers Association welcomed the inclusion, with the association’s chairman Sharon Byrne telling TotallyGaming.com:“We held a very successful Responsible Gambling Week in Ireland earlier this year and joining IGRG’s event in November is a great opportunity to take part in the biggest conversation we have ever had about responsible gambling.

“We take a proactive approach, encouraging staff to interact with customers and talk about what it means to gamble responsibly. Having a week-long event is very helpful for staff because it makes it easier for them to approach customers – it’s less personal and they are less likely to cause offence.

Encouraged by the success of the inaugural Responsible Gambling Week, held in 2017, which encompassed more than 10,000 gambling venues and online sites, 120,000 employees across Great Britain and created more than 10 million impressions on social media, the IGRG is seeking to build on the excellent results and take the campaign further in 2018.

In Ireland, the initiative will be supported by more than 800 bookmakers shops and head offices, involving around 5,500 staff, and by the Arcades Association, the Gaming and Leisure Association of Ireland, Horse Racing Ireland and both the Irish Greyhound and Horse Racing Tote.

The headline theme of the Week will be Let’s Talk About Responsible Gambling. By coming together with one voice, the industry is able extend its reach and ensure that the message of responsible gambling connects with the widest possible audience.

Byrne added: “A very important element of the campaign is that we carry out independent spot checks to random  shops to test the staff’s knowledge of Responsible Gambling Week and that they are displaying posters, with full shop window takeovers.

“They also use younger mystery shoppers to test that ‘Think 21’ is being used. Staff are given training materials in advance of Responsible Gambling Week so they understand all the issues and feel empowered to have conversations with customers. The results were very encouraging and we look forward to improving them again this year.

“Responsible Gambling Week conveys the message that gambling can and should be fun and that there are tools available to help keep it that way. For anyone who does need help, it is a great opportunity to highlight the services available.

“During our week in February, we had widespread support in 770 shops run by members of the Irish Bookmakers Association along with Amusement arcades, racing and dog tracks taking place that week and card clubs and tote operations.  In November, we would like to see more support by non-IBA members and are hopeful of blanket coverage for Responsible Gambling Week.”

Totally Gaming says: Responsible Gambling Week has become an intrinsic part of the betting industry calendar, and quite right too. Not only will it help raise awareness of problem gambling and the many issues that come with it, RGW will also help clean up the industry’s reputation. The fact that Ireland and Northern Ireland have been incorporated into the initiative seems like a common sense development.

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