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Pilot project tackling problem gambling delivers impressive results

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Malcolm George-Association of British Bookmakers
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A pilot project with betting shop staff in Islington, north London, designed to improve their understanding of gambling-related harm and to raise awareness of support available to customers at risk, is delivering impressive results.

 

Virtually all members of staff who received training from the project team describe improvements in their ability to recognise what the report describes as “red flags in customer behaviour” and their understanding of gambling-related harm. Staff also report feeling more confident in assisting people with gambling problems.

The project, entitled Don’t Gamble With Health, delivered by BetKnowMore UK and sponsored by GambleAware, is innovative in its approach to harm-minimisation by working with high street betting shop staff. It involved 59 betting shops setting up a customer referral process. Training was provided to 112 shop staff and partner organisations, and 95 customers were referred to the service or approached it independently through information available in betting shops.

Feedback about the project and the service it offers has been overwhelmingly positive. It was funded by a dedicated grant from the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) in addition to the regular funding provided to GambleAware by ABB members.

The project had a second distinct element in providing a support service to customers who are at risk or are problem gamblers. BetKnowMore UK’s report on the project, independently verified, showed that the majority of clients who engaged with the service improved their ability to successfully manage their gambling behaviour. Customers who completed their treatment for problem gambling made particularly impressive progress.

Barriers prevent people seeking help

The team reported that the main reasons preventing people who could benefit from coming forward for help were lack of awareness of support mechanisms, complexity of referral and slow response within some existing services. A common barrier which prevented people seeking help was the negativity and stigma associated with problem gambling. The project focused on addressing these obstacles.

The support service is delivered in tiers. Tiers one and two are described as brief interventions. Typically, they take the form of informal meetings in neutral places such as cafes, or involve phone engagement with people who call the project helpline, usually to share concerns about their own or a loved one’s gambling behaviour.

Tier three offers a more structured support through mentoring and group therapy, while tier four is dedicated to clients with complex and multiple needs and typically involves counselling support.

 

 tackling problem gambling

 

To help deal with the stigma linked with problem gambling the project presented gambling as a lifestyle choice and health issue similar to, for example, drinking. It emphasised that when people are able to engage in these activities in appropriate, well-managed ways they do not lead to harm and are socially acceptable.

The positive approach is reinforced by the alternatives offered to problem-gambling activity. Consistent with modern theories on behaviour change, this means that in order to sustainably remove or minimise negative behaviour, people need a positive alternative. Within the context of the project this meant helping clients to fill up the time previously occupied by gambling with new activities such as participating in sport or making music.

Contributory negative factors assessed

The holistic nature of the approach is manifested in the team assessing what, alongside gambling, negatively affects their clients’ wellbeing and supports them in addressing that. Examples include loneliness, unemployment or accommodation problems.

Given the evidence about gambling-related harm affecting vulnerable members of society, consideration was given to the extent to which the service reached such customers.

For tier three-four clients for whom information was available:

  • Five out of 34 were in supported accommodation or at risk of becoming homeless. A similar number lived with friends, not having a home of their own.
  • Nine out of 26 were not in employment. Five were unemployed and four were in receipt of benefits due to long-term illness.
  • Sixteen out of 37 had mental health problems, typically anxiety, stress and depression. There were several clients with personality and bipolar disorders.
  • Ten out of 40 had a history of, or were recovering from, substance and/or alcohol abuse
  • Four out 37 had a history of breaking the law (linked to gambling or substance abuse).

Malcolm George, chief executive of the ABB, said: “The success of the BetKnowMore project is a huge credit to the hard work of everyone involved, from those providing the counselling service to the betting shop staff who received new intensive training. I’m very encouraged by these findings and, working with the BetKnowMore team, we will now look to upscale this service in 2018.

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Digitain Wins Sportsbook Platform Supplier Award at The EGR B2B Awards

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Digitain, a global leader in Sportsbook and iGaming solutions for over 20 years, has won the coveted industry accolade of Gold Award for Sportsbook Supplier of the Year at the EGR B2B Awards recently held in London.

Iain Hutchison, Digitain’s Chief Revenue Officer, expressed his delight on behalf of Digitain and its whole team: “We are humbled by this recognition and industry award. Our entire teams all work tirelessly to deliver and equip our partner operators with the best sportsbook platform solutions and customer experience.

Our unwavering commitment to the highest quality and customer experience levels is at the core of our operations. We are dedicated to ensuring our partners thrive in today’s digital betting marketplace with our robust, scalable, and regulatory-approved solutions. We are excited to continue serving the needs of our partners, both now and in the future, with the same level of dedication and commitment.”

 

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Oddin.gg Secures Exclusive Esports Data & Integrity Partnership With YaLLa Esports

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Following on several major partnerships in 2024, Oddin.gg solidifies its global presence in the official esports data landscape with a multi-year partnership with YaLLa Esports, a leading esports media company and tournament organizer based in the United Arab Emirates.

Established in 2016, YaLLa esports has emerged as a significant force in the Middle East esports scene. As a team of former gamers, they have deep insight into the hearts and minds of esports fans, therefore their success does not come up as a surprise. Their inaugural Compass event in Abu Dhabi, which recently concluded, was a resounding success.

We have every reason to believe that their upcoming editions starting this July will produce even better results, and that their CS2 events in the coming years are only going to further bolster their position as leaders in the region.

This deal represents another Oddin.gg’s step forward in integrating server data directly into the full suite of betting services, offering clear benefits to all stakeholders in the sector. The partnership is in line with Oddin.gg’s commitment to support the esports ecosystem by offering sustainable revenue streams.

Marek Suchar, Co-founder and Managing Director at Oddin.gg has the following to say about the partnership: “I’m thrilled to welcome YaLLa Esports to our growing list of partners. The achievements of Klaus and Teemu and their team in the region over the recent years are truly remarkable, and I’m honored that Oddin.gg can contribute to their continued success. I am sure that a collaboration of two companies with such great passion for esports will not only deliver new engaging products, but also be nothing short of a big boost to the esports industry in the region.”

“I’m personally thrilled about this long-term partnership as both Oddin and Compass are cutting-edge brands with innovation at their core, pushing the space forward by always looking for the next big thing when it comes to fan experiences,” said Klaus Kajetski, Founder of YaLLa Esports; sharing his perspective on the collaboration.

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Galaxsys promotes Head of Sales

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Galaxsys is proud to announce the promotion of Teni Grigoryan, a seasoned professional with a proven track record in sales and partnership management, to the expanded role of Chief Sales and Partner Management Officer.

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Galaxsys, an innovative games studio known for its high-energy, quick-win games with a unique twist, is delighted to confirm Teni Grigoryan’s promotion to the expanded role of Chief Sales and Partner Management Officer.

Hayk Sargsyan, Chief Executive Officer of Galaxsys, praised Teni Grigoryan’s exceptional contributions, stating, “Teni’s leadership as Head of Sales has been instrumental in our expansion across multiple regulated markets in Europe, Latin America, and North America. Her promotion to Chief Sales and Partner Management Officer was a natural progression, given our 150+ partners, from tier 1 operators to aggregators and more. Our outstanding growth in Q1 & Q2 is a testament to her capabilities, and as our business continues to flourish, Teni is the perfect team member to ensure we deliver best-in-class partnership support for our customers.”

Teni Grigoryan, now the Chief Sales and Partner Management Officer, shared her enthusiasm for the new role and the company’s future, saying, “I’m really looking forward to stepping into this new role where I’ll oversee both Sales and Partner Management departments and their strategy. My focus will be on ensuring a seamless process with our partners, from closing deals to project launch and beyond. Galaxsys has always prioritized strong partnerships, and my aim is to unify our strategy, goals, and motivation across both teams. I see these departments working hand in hand, like a single entity, to achieve our objectives together. I strongly believe that regardless of the product or service we deliver, it’s ultimately the quality of our relationships that determines success.

We’ve grown a lot and expanded into regulated markets across different regions, gaining industry recognition. Now, we’re focused on improving our services even more to meet the high standards demanded in these markets.”

 

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