SiGMA TV speaks with Šimon Vincze, Sustainable & Safer Gambling Lead at Casino Guru about their responsible gaming and sustainability program
Responsible gambling has sat silently in the background for some time, and Šimon is in agreement that although the industry has taken quite a while to acknowledge and appreciate the importance of this issue, the recent global health crisis has certainly helped spotlight the issue, in part due to the significant role the pandemic has played in the sector’s recent, rapid expansion.
This has resulted in some backlash towards the industry, nonetheless, Šimon believes that this is the right course of action. Approaching gambling responsibly means we can work towards a sustainable business – and a sustainable market, not just for the companies but for everyone.
“Self-exclusion is the next stage when it comes to responsible gambling being understood as a way of prevention. The great thing about self-exclusion is that when it works you are able to very quickly stop any gambling opportunity in your path.”
Šimon goes on to say that when there are habits connected to problematic gambling, self-exclusion alone won’t solve them – it’s therefore important to combine it with some kind of therapy.
There are a number of actions you need to take to follow up on, he says. The first option would be to exclude yourself from the operator that you have your account with, which can be done through the customer support agents, requested by email, or for instant action – through the panic button.
He does caution that exclusion from one operator does not extend to other operators.
“If they are not covered by the nationwide or the licence-wide self-exclusion scheme, then there is no way for them to find out about your self-exclusion. So you can very easily just skip to the other provider and play there without anyone realising that you have a problem with gambling.
“The second stage is to exclude yourself from these nationwide or licensed wide schemes, which will cover all the licensed operators in your country. However, you are still exposed to those operators operating offshore. It’s quite easy for people to skip to those areas.”
CasinoGuru has an initiative that targets precisely this problem – a global self exclusion umbrella scheme. Operating globally helped highlight this deficiency, revealing that current initiatives simply couldn’t compete on that kind of scale. The project is not without its pitfalls though.
Simon confirms that ‘the possibility of having the opportunity for players to be excluded from all operators on a global scale is an ambitious one, but there are a lot of challenges to overcome.’ It is, he suggests – a movement of sorts, designed to generate attention and interest – primarily because this project will rely on a joint effort from all involved and cannot be undertaken alone.
“This is a collaborative project. It requires engagement from the operators and other subjects from the online gambling sphere in order for this to be functional.”
Watch the interview in full:
Simon also believes that in tandem with self exclusion there is a responsibility to make support accessible. Current self-exclusion options and packages, which the players receive once they opt in, can be as different as night and day.
Some of them only offer basic advice on what you can do once you have self excluded, others are made in a more sophisticated way and actually give players options. The problem is, he says, is that the players usually don’t use them, especially if they aren’t in the right mindset for getting help.
“So what we are looking for with the global self-exclusion scheme is to create strong connections between those self excluded players and the help organisations. It removes the barrier because they’re already there. I believe that this makes all the difference when someone reaches out. This is not being used in any jurisdiction yet, as far as I know.
I ask Simon where he sees the future of the industry heading – will there be increased social awareness and social responsibility?
“I believe so. It goes hand-in-hand with responsible gambling, because there are different perspectives that you can look at. It is seen, most of the time, as a form of prevention. However, once you are behind the line of prevention and you already have some issues, responsible gambling just goes away and solving that problem goes into motion. So that’s where social responsibility comes in – where if you see something harmful happening, you’re in a position to do something about it.
This is the responsibility we are looking for. And I think that this is the right direction in order for it to be sustainable in the future.”
As he explains, there needs to be a shift in perspective. We need to get to a point where the public sees gambling as a legitimate form of entertainment, which has some possible risks associated with it, and considers these risks before playing.
VIP Networking Dinner – SiGMA Toronto:
SiGMA Group has announced plans to hold a VIP dinner on the 9th of February to officially mark the launch of the inaugural SiGMA Americas summit in Toronto. With no expense spared, the intimate and exclusive dinner will gather some of the biggest players in Canada’s gaming and tech ecosystem for an evening of premier networking. This long-standing tradition of iGathering events offers the ideal backdrop for striking meaningful connections within the industry and ensuring relationships flourish.