How NGOs and charities can help operators boost CSR

How NGOs and charities can help operators boost CSR

Thursday, September 10, 2015 Totally Gaming
Recovered problem gambler Lee Willows told WrB about his help from the third sector

Specialists from gambling operators and industry-focused charities have spoken out about how partnering with each other can boost corporate social responsibility and the overall approach to responsible gambling initiatives.

Lee Willows, founder of the Young Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), used a session at WrB 2015 to speak positively about such relationships, drawing on his own experiences of problem gambling as an example of how NGOs and charitable organisations can help people in similar situations.

“We teach people about responsible sex and drinking, but not about gambling and the difficulties young people can run into here - YGAM can help these people,” Willows said.

He went on to explain that having suffered from problem gambling himself, during a period that saw him rack up debts in the six-figure range, it was GamCare and the National Problem Gambling Clinic that helped him away from these issues.

“I knew I had a problem, I was too ashamed to speak out, I didn’t tell anyone and hid it well,” Willows said. “When I came out, everyone around me was extremely shocked.”

Having established YGAM as a group that focuses on helping younger people, the organisation recently installed Dan Waugh of Regulus Partners as chairman.

Speaking about his role, Waugh said that having been in the industry for a number of years, he has witnessed a changing attitude towards problem gambling, and now is the time to act upon this.

Waugh added: “Previously, there was a profound absence of curiosity about problem gambling. One aspect of this curiosity has to be engagement as if we keep it in the industry, we will only talk about what we already know. We will only expand our knowledge by speaking to other people that have other views on these issues.”

YGAM will be supported on its quest by start-up software developer Gamevy. Helen Walton, co-founder and marketing director at the company, said that the firm’s commitment to responsible gambling is reflected in the focus of its staff.

Walton added: “We see our products as entertainment, sociable and sharable. We looked at our regulatory requirements but also broader, social requirements. It’s a general belief for our staff that we can develop exciting games with real-money elements, but are also responsible.”



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