Safer Gambling Standard
Earlier this year GamCare, the leading provider of information, advice, and support for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling across Great Britain, launched its new Safer Gambling Standard: a social responsibility quality standard for the gambling industry.
The Standard aims to drive up overall standards of social responsibility practice across the gambling industry, making gambling safer for consumers.
The new accreditation aims to recognise gambling operators who go above and beyond the requirements of gambling industry Licensing Codes and Conditions of Practice (LCCP) and comprises 10 sets of assessment criteria across online and land-based operations. The wide-reaching Standard has been designed to review organisational policies and procedures, digital and in-person interactions, protections for young and vulnerable people, and the culture of the business regarding its approach to social responsibility.
Paul Carpenter, Head of Industry Services at GamCare, said: “More and more gambling operators are realising that protecting customers from experiencing gambling related harm is key to running an ethical and sustainable business. We want gambling operators to embrace the Safer Gambling Standard, not just for the business and reputational benefits of doing so, but because demonstrating an effective approach to safer gambling is the right thing to do. The Standard is a quality mark that will signal that operators have customers at the heart of their businesses.”
GamCare's Paul Carpenter, speaking in the Consumer Zone at ICE London
Genting UK plc were the first operator to embark on the accreditation process and were followed by bet365, Betsson Group, Buzz Group, Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd, In Touch Games and JPJ plc, with more operators coming on board daily.
Mike Kenward, Development Director at GamCare shares some further details about the Standard and its progress to date:
How does the Safer Gambling Standard differ from GamCare Certification?
The Safer Gambling Standard builds on the work we have been doing to drive up standards in social responsibility and player protection through GamCare Certification, but the assessment process is wider-reaching and strives to recognise gambling operators who make an effort to go above and beyond the requirements of the LCCP.
All operators who achieve the Standard will be accredited for two years, with an annual review built in to ensure that the business continues to make progress. If an operator achieves the Standard, their achievement will be showcased on a dedicated customer-facing website due to be revealed later this year.
So, what does the Standard assess?
The Safer Gambling Standard assessment process involves a review of an operator’s policies and procedures, interviews with staff, website reviews and premises visits. The assessment examines a range of areas to get a true sense of an operator’s organisational culture, and how that culture is led from the top.
We look at ten criteria for both land-based and online operators:
- Corporate Governance and Risk Management
- Collaboration and Sharing Best Practice
- Contribution to research, education and treatment for gambling-related harms
- Protection of Children & Young Adults
- Customer Information, Profiling and Interaction
- Product Design and Innovation in Safer Gambling Tools, including Limit Setting and reality Checks
- Advertising and Promotion
- Staff Training and Development
- Addressing problem gambling among staff
How does the Standard apply to bingo operators?
GamCare understands that many bingo operators are socially responsible and look to continually improve their approaches to minimising gambling harms, both for online and land-based businesses. GamCare supports bingo operators in this work through our training services as well as through the new Safer Gambling Standard.
Some of the ways in which the Standard strives to make a difference include asking operators to provide a dedicate risk profile for customers aged 18 – 21, by taking into consideration the loyalty, bonus and free play promotions they offer, and by looking at how they incorporate player protection into their training and development programmes.
The Standard is for operators of all sizes, established and new, from those seeking an external audit to ensure they are LCCP compliant to those seeking a roadmap towards best practice. We go through a full scoping meeting with each operator to get to grips with the companies, sites and premises in their portfolio to fully understand the scale of their business, and to provide a practical approach to accreditation.
Have you seen engagement with the Standard from bingo operators already?
Yes, bingo operators have already begun to embrace the Safer Gambling Standard – not just for the business and reputational benefits of doing so, but because demonstrating an effective approach to safer gambling is the right thing to do. We have bingo operators already signed up and part way through the accreditation process, such as the Buzz Bingo, and we would be very happy to help and support other operators to get underway.
More and more operators are realising that demonstrating that they can protect their customers from experiencing gambling related harm is vital to running an ethical and sustainable business. The Standard is a quality mark that will signal that operators have customers at the heart of their businesses.
For more information visit GamCare website
GamCare operates the National Gambling HelpLine on Freephone 0808 8020 133 or via web chat at www.gamcare.org.uk, providing information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling, funded by GambleAware. Advisers are available 8am – Midnight, seven days a week.
GamCare also provides a range of free treatment (face to face, online or over the phone) for anyone affected by problem gambling across England, Scotland and Wales, funded by GambleAware, as well as Forum and daily chatrooms so that people can speak to others experiencing similar issues and seek support.
GamCare’s new strategy is available to download at here, along with their latest Annual Review and Statistics.