Responsible Gambling Principles and Good Practices in the field of responsible international gambling

Responsible Gambling Principles

1. Promote your business as a way to have fun, not as a way to make money.
2. Allocate human and financial resources for the generation and involvement of the company in actions of social responsibility and customer protection.
3. Permanently train your employees on the latest practices regarding Responsible Gambling.
4. Provide customers with related services or facilities that could encourage excessive gambling.
5. Constantly inform your customers about the dangers of excessive gambling and how to deal with gambling addiction.
6. Make sure you identify toxic players in a timely manner.
7. Act immediately when you identify a player with gambling addiction.
8. Cooperate with the family when necessary to help the problem player more effectively.
9. Make sure that minors are not allowed in the gambling hall.
10. Permanently seeks partnership with the authorities and voluntary participation in actions aimed at social responsibility.

Internationally good practices in the Responsible Gambling  field

The gambling market in Romania is currently more and more dynamic and has experienced a sustained development in recent years, including online.

This causes companies operating in this industry to focus more and more on an effective but at the same time responsible communication strategy.

And the message of responsible gaming or responsible behavior towards gambling is perhaps, more than ever, at the heart of the operators’ communication strategy.

The same thing happens at the international level where, as in Romania, the message of responsible gambling is doubled by concrete actions and projects meant to promote a responsible behavior towards gambling.

Market Situation

So what is the situation in the more developed markets in the field of responsible gambling? For example, in Italy, Cyprus, Switzerland or Spain, the state – alone or in partnership with other institutions – is the one that finances or financially supports organizations or structures that provide services to promote the concept of responsible gaming.

Also, in the United Kingdom, Malta and again Italy, non-governmental organizations providing such services are financially supported by gambling operators.
Last but not least, in South Africa or the Czech Republic, there is a mix of funding sources between the state and the gambling industry.

The state, through the National Institute of Health (INS), operates at the national level a toll-free line, providing to those who have gambling problems the information they need regarding health services dedicated to the treatment of gambling disorders, services managing the social, economic or legal problems associated with compulsive gambling behavior; also, it provides a list of nationally available toll-free numbers that people with such problems can call. The service is also available to gambling operators, in the sense that they are given adequate support to deal with special situations caused by people with potential gambling problems.

In addition, in Italy there is an association of over 1,500 professionals (psychologists, lawyers), whose mission is to improve, on a scientific basis, the quality of addiction intervention as well as to strengthen clinical and preventive interventions. The association is funded by gambling operators, and its standard program is Responsible Gambling. Through it, the association provides 24/7 online support via email and chat for people with gambling problems. The service is run by psychologists, psychotherapists and lawyers and is also available to families and friends of people with such issues.

Spain is another example of good practice in responsible gambling, with a Responsible Gaming Advisory Council being set up at the end of 2018 by order of the Spanish Ministry of Finance. The Council is chaired by the President of the Directorate-General for Gambling Regulation – a body under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance – and is composed of representatives of gambling operators, experts in the field, universities, and consumer protection organizations whose activities address and the theme of gambling.

The example of South Africa, where the South African Foundation for Responsible Gambling exists, is also interesting. This is an organization established through a public-private partnership between regulators and the gambling industry, in response to certain situations related to compulsive gambling behavior, manifested by certain people in this country. The foundation is voluntarily funded by companies in the gambling industry (0.01% of the gross revenues of each funding company), but also by public funds.

In the UK, involvement in actions or projects that address responsible gambling is provided by two types of organizations: independent NGOs (known as charities) such as GambleAware or GamCare, on the one hand, and the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG), an organization backed by the UK gambling industry, on the other hand. If GamCare provides services for both gambling and industry players (including consulting for the implementation of corporate social responsibility strategies in the field of responsible gambling promotion), in the case of GambleAware things are different. Thus, GambleAware specializes exclusively in providing funding for any organization that develops projects in the direction of responsible gambling, with funds coming exclusively from the gambling industry. As for IGRG, it consists of five associations representing operators from all sectors of the local gambling industry. In essence, the organization is working to improve and promote responsible practices in the industry and is constantly developing and renewing the so-called Code of the Gambling Industry for Socially Responsible Advertising.