In the sixth installment of a collaboration between IAG and the Responsible Gambling Council, we look at the importance of prevention education in creating a responsible gambling culture.
The minimization of gambling harm and the creation of a sustainable player base are two goals that unite most jurisdictions where gaming and gambling is offered. And while the goals are the same, the strategies to achieve them, implement and measure them may differ from market to market.
It is these differences which allow us to move forward with confidence. There are opportunities for operators and regulators across the globe to learn from each other, as well as customize programming to meet the needs of their own players and jurisdictions. Now more than ever, as the industry seeks new approaches and products to connect with players and recover from the impacts of the pandemic, there is an opportunity to learn from each other.
The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) has long been an organization dedicated to the prevention of problem gambling and reduction of harms. From our humble beginnings back in 1983, RGC has been passionate about advancing evidence-informed responsible gambling. And it has worked with all sides of the industry to support each stakeholder to play their respective roles in creating an enjoyable experience for players, and mitigating the risks.
Today, RGC is the largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to responsible gambling in the world, working with jurisdictions across the globe to support operators and regulators in achieving their goals of minimizing gambling harms and creating a safe (and sustainable) player base. This installment of the series will demonstrate how RGC has evolved to meet the needs of an industry in motion.
ELEVATING THE GOLD STANDARD
As the gambling industry evolves, so too does its offerings. The emergence of increased online gambling means that standards, policies and safeguards suitable for traditional land-based venues may not be as effective for virtual platforms. Recently, the RG Check iGaming accreditation was updated to reflect the evolution of platform safeguards by looking at metrics unique to online gambling, such as technology functionality and access to money through online accounts and payments.
With funding from Singapore Pools to develop and pilot this new product, RGC will be able to provide more meaningful and relevant recommendations as a source of continuous improvement.
As RGC expands its work into the digital space, integrated online and sports betting considerations help to ensure that online platforms are being assessed to provide the best action plan for operators to reduce gambling harms.
INNOVATIVE RESEARCH WITH REAL-WORLD APPLICATION
A norm in one jurisdiction may be foreign to another. For example, help-seeking for problem gambling in Asian markets is lower versus its North American counterparts where treatment options are widely available. In Singapore, third-party exclusions by loved ones are available, and there is evidence to support that targeting of family members may be impactful across other Asian jurisdictions.
In order to identify gaps or trends, reviews, scans and studies of comparable jurisdictions can be done to provide an operator or regulator with insight into what can support their social responsibility needs and goals. RG Plus works with jurisdictions internationally to bring a depth of knowledge to real world problems. This increased understanding helps to inform more effective programs, communications and initiatives. Research and evidence-based approaches can go a long way in producing solutions that not only resonate with target groups but are more culturally appropriate. This approach is what takes a research report beyond paper and into an actionable solution.
COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAMMING GOES DIGITAL
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a global shift in the way direct services are delivered. Now more than ever prevention education is important, particularly with youth and young adults, which is a trend that can be seen in many markets around the globe.
It is important to understand the audience and employ tactics that are relevant. Programs aimed at youth are more effective if they are presented in an immersive way, from traditional in-person methods to digital games that impart gambling awareness education. RGC’s House of Wisdoms, a video game designed for youth, was recently launched in Ontario, Canada. This game is a fun, interactive way for students to learn about the links between gaming and gambling via interactive game play.
RGC works collaboratively with the industry as a whole, from innovative research to direct services. Operators looking to build safe and sustainable player bases as they recover from the pandemic can benefit from RGC’s robust consultation processes. By supporting business growth with consumer safeguards embedded, RGC can assist operators to achieve their revenue and player retention goals.