In 2019 23-year old Nadia Tarik made history when she was among the first students to participate in the ground-breaking apprenticeship degree course in Social Change at Queen Mary University of London. Thanks to pioneering sponsorship from Caesars Entertainment EMEA, Nadia has been able to combine a four year degree course with her work as a Development Officer at YGAM, the UK charity that works to inform, educate and safeguard young people against gambling and gaming related harms. Nadia reflects on her first year of studying and working.
The Social Change degree course attracted six times more applicants per place than Oxford University – can you explain the challenges of being accepted onto the course and what was the interview process like?
Being the first degree of its kind meant that there was very high demand for places. The recruitment process was extremely challenging and detailed to ensure that recruiters were selecting candidates that would make the most of the opportunity as well as identify those with the capabilities to impact social change. The academic requirements were very high with three As at A level in order to ensure that applicants would be academically capable of completing the course and understanding the set modules. I had to present a detailed explanation as to why I should be accepted, what I would bring to the programme and my future goals. We then had a group based interview, followed by a 2:1 interview in which I was asked multiple questions regarding my application and a full explanation of my career and work history. After several phone interviews with recruiters, I met YGAM CEO Lee Willows and Mike Wojcik the Chair of Trustees and then completed a final round interview with the CEO after which I was offered the position.
Can you describe what your post at YGAM entails and what the challenges are?
The Development Officer Apprentice role involves frequent rotations across disciplines including marketing, education and fundraising. The diversity of the apprenticeship programme has, I think, put me in an extremely favourable position with regards to the development of my career that I would not have been exposed to if I had chosen a more traditional route. The accessibility of technology resources has enabled organisations of all sizes to become digitally focused. Regarding the current pandemic crisis, many firms have had to redesign their business plan and create a virtual presence. The introduction of YGAM’s Webinars has allowed me to develop an understanding of numerous programmes such as Salesforce and WordPress. I am now able to utilise my knowledge and incorporate the software on a day to day basis, building my IT literacy and enabling me to contribute to projects such as the design of YGAM’s virtual resources and registrations. This year we’ve introduced Parental Engagement educational resources, allowing me to be part of the development of a new service right from the very start. I have particularly enjoyed working with the team to design surveys for our focus groups and I have now been given the task to create interactive animations for our new educational materials.
In many ways YGAM has been ahead of the curve, as even prior to the pandemic it has operated a remote working environment with employees spread all across the UK. Working remotely at such an early stage in my career has been a definite plus enabling me to experience the challenges of goal-setting, motivation and discipline that are so important whilst working independently.
A lot of people are put off further education due to the fear of accumulating student debt – does the apprenticeship help in that respect?
Yes, student debt is a big deterrent for many individuals especially those from challenging backgrounds. An apprenticeship programme is highly beneficial for those struggling with the decision to undertake a degree or to earn a full salary as it provides the benefits of both options. I am of course extremely grateful for the support provided by Caesars in this respect. The apprenticeship programme eliminates financial constraints by providing free intuition, the standard living wage salary or above as well as any resources required for the course. There is a big misperception that those operating in the third sector/not-for-profit do not become financially successful. The Social Change degree apprenticeship programme provides the training, resources, networks and knowledge to ensure you are on the right path to achieve personal and career goals.
Can you explain how the course operates and the split between working at YGAM and studying at Queen Mary University?
The Chartered Degree Apprenticeship in Business Management (Social Change) is a four-year programme. After completion, apprentices gain a Business Management (Social change) BSc Degree as well as a Chartered Management qualification. During university term time we operate with two full days of education and three full days of working with our employer. Outside university term time I work full time, five days a week at YGAM. Throughout the four-year programme the apprentices are required to create a portfolio which examines how we have met the KPIs for our Chartered Management qualification. Thus, challenging us to translate the skills and experiences from our workplace with the theory taught in our modules. In our final year we will undergo a six-month work project where we take on the role as project manager to showcase our skill sets and finally present it to a panel for grading.
What modules do you study at Queen Mary?
It is a really comprehensive course covering marketing, the law, accounting, leadership, ethics, governance, social responsibility, fundraising management, mentoring and coaching. The course is varied and provides opportunities to deep dive into specialist interests.
Is it difficult combining work and education?
It can be demanding, especially during exam periods. Communication is very important, I have found that being able to liaise with fellow apprentices on my course extremely beneficial. Moreover, having open communication with my line manager relieved any stress I may have had. Management is very understanding and flexible with our work demands during assessment periods.
Can you provide some background – did you go to school in London and do you live in London?
I was born and raised in the London Borough of Bromley whilst living in a traditional Moroccan household. Growing up I spent a lot of time abroad in Holland and Morocco visiting family for extended periods of time. In terms of education I always studied in my local area so I was excited to attend Queen Mary’s University which is situated in the heart of East London. I love the fact that I can now explore a new area of London and experience a whole fresh wave of cultures.
Reflecting on your first academic year as an undergraduate apprentice – what have been the high points?
There have been a lot of high points, not least featuring in an article which was published in The Guardian newspaper which I think demonstrates how ground-breaking and different this course is. The ability to get hands-on experience in a real and relevant work environment, being able to participate in important initiatives and to contribute to the objectives and goals of YGAM are all really significant take outs from my first year. Currently I am part of a team developing interactive animations for our Parental Engagement resources – this is a new and exciting opportunity that allows me to hone into my creativity. It’s been a hugely exciting year of growth and impact at YGAM and I’m proud to be part of it.
If you hadn’t succeeded in being accepted on the apprenticeship degree course what do you think you would be doing?
My lifelong ambition has been to dedicate my career to the third sector. Equally, I am fascinated by the world of business so I think I would have followed a traditional business-related degree, whilst continuing to volunteer until I was able to merge both passions. I feel fully motivated and grateful to YGAM, Queen Mary and Caesars knowing that I am working for an organisation that is making a positive difference and impacting social change – which is exactly what I want to achieve in my career.
Week 31/2022 slot games releases
Here are this weeks latest slots releases compiled by European Gaming!
Yggdrasil and ReelPlay have joined forces to launch the latest release by Hot Rise Games, Monsters VS Gigablox™. The title sees an epic battle of monstrous proportions taking place across a devastated city and features huge creatures fighting across the 6×6, 50-payline grid. As with all games incorporating the popular Gigablox™ Game Engagement Mechanic (GEM), an oversized symbol will land on every spin, which can be anything from 2×2 to 6×6 in size.
Franco Digital is challenging players to capture the beauty of nature in Wild Shot, a new online slot adventure that combines risk-taking and photography in a safari setting. Players aim to survive the wild animals of the savannah to take striking images in this five-reel, three-row and 20-line game that has been designed to keep intrepid explorers on the edge of their seats.
Swintt, are inviting players to soar above the clouds in their latest Win Eagle slot – a brand-new Premium release that features max wins of 800x the selected stake and a Wheel of Fortune bonus that can pay out MAXI jackpot prizes. Played out on a traditional 3×3 reel matrix, Win Eagle draws on the iconic design elements of classic land-based slots and gives them a modern twist with the help of state-of-the-art visuals and innovative features.
Relax Gaming, has lit the fuse on its most recent game to feature its progressive jackpots, Wild Chapo Dream Drop. In a slot that is as volatile as the titular character’s stash of explosives, Expanding TNT Wilds, Sticky Wild Re-Spins and Bonus Bomb symbols bring blazing win potential to the base game. Three bonus symbols earn players a drink inside Chapo’s bar where bombs are stored until the very last free spin.
Wizard Games is presenting players with a rare opportunity to experience the most sacred of temples in its epic new adventure Amun Ra – King of the Gods. The 5-reel, 4-row slot is centred around the mythical figure of Amun Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun and air, who challenges players to prove they are worthy of being in his presence. Rich rewards are possible within a slot that is packed with bonus features, with split symbols that can deliver huge payouts up to 40.000 ways.
Blue Guru Games presents Treasure of Tengshe, a game with expanding wilds, fizzing firecrackers and an ancient serpent sky-dancing and devouring fireworks. This high-volatility, 50 payline slot will be leaping and twisting onto the Oryx Hub Platform. Blue Guru has been making a bang in the gaming space with a series of highly engaging slots with cinematic audio-visuals.
iSoftBet, welcomes players back to the stunning African Savanna in classic cascading experience, Majestic Megaways Extreme 4™. The action-packed title sees a top-performing game given the Quad Action treatment, meaning that four reel sets are in play on every spin, multiplying the excitement and payouts considerably.
Play’n GO call in the luck of the Irish in the latest addition to their popular series of leprechaun titles, Leprechaun’s Vault. Larkin the Lucky Leprechaun – although his luck seems to have run out in this story – has had the keys to his magical vault stolen by the mischievous fairies of the fen. A classic 5×3 reel online slot with the potential to award players x9000 their total bet is clear, fun and easy to understand from the first spin.
Can you handle the heat? That is the question being asked of players in Hot Chilliways, the latest slot to be developed in partnership with Hurricane Games via Stakelogic’s innovative Greenlogic® Programme. This is a video slot that turns up the heat and with players encouraged to experiment with some seriously spicy win combinations.
Evoplay casino games provider has announced a new video slots game release, inviting players to run with the pack in search of tasty wins in its latest release, Wolf Hiding. Players will need to search for hidden riches revealed by the moonlight in the enigmatic woods, and to heighten the excitement, the title features a Mystery symbol, allowing players to clear the clouds and open up the starry night sky, triggering the Full Moon feature that delivers impressive wins.
Playson, the fast-growing digital entertainment supplier, has enhanced its Timeless Fruit Slot collection with Ruby Hit: Hold and Win, an immersive slot that offers a fresh take on the supplier’s popular Bonus Game. The 3×3 slot encompasses eye-catching visuals with a range of beautiful fruit and gem-stoned symbols, while the title’s Wild appears as the iconic Red Sevens.
BGaming announces a competition for streamers with a $15 000 prize pool
BGaming launches its first competition for online slots streamers with a $15 000 prize pool. The competition will be held online between August 10-31, challenging participants to collect particular winning combinations and emotional moments while streaming BGaming slots on Twitch and Youtube.
To enter the BGaming Streamers Race, a participant should have a Twitch or Youtube account and stream any of the three following BGaming slots: Bonanza Billion, Lucky Lady Moon Megaways, and Aztec Magic Bonanza between August 10-31. There are no limitations on which online casino to choose for streams, and no pre-registration is needed.
Leaders of the Streamers Race will be determined according to the submitted results in the following nominations: Multiplier Hero, Scatters Champion, and the Greatest Showman. The Multiplier Hero category will reward streamers with the biggest sum of submitted multipliers collected on streams during the race period. The Scatters Champion category will challenge streamers to collect six scatters in the slots and be the first to submit the result. The Greatest Showman category will allocate submissions of the most exciting video moments captured during the streams.
Participants of the Streamers Race will be able to submit results in multiple categories and track their leaderboard positions in real-time on the official website of the Streamers Race. Leaders of the Race will raffle off the prize fund of $15 000.
Kate Puteiko, Product Marketing Lead at BGaming, commented: “We see significant changes in our player’s persona: the average age of our players is shifting from thirty to twenty years old. This new generation of slots fans is pushing the development of the streaming community, making streamers trusted influencers in the industry. We see a growing interest in our games from streamers, and of course, we are interested in encouraging them to play our games more. Support and development of the streamers community are among our priorities, and you’ll see even more events for streamers powered by BGaming.”
BGaming is a fast-growing game provider converting gambling into gaming. Thanks to an expert team and a player-driven approach, the studio creates innovative and engaging products featured on reputable platforms and 700+ online casinos worldwide. BGaming is the world’s first to support cryptocurrencies and offer Provably Fair games. Today the brand’s portfolio includes 90+ products with HD graphics and a clear user interface for every device.
Online Casino Regulation
In Great Britain, the Gambling Commission issues gambling licenses, regulates, advises and guides players and gambling businesses. There are three licensing objectives set out in the Gambling Act 2005.
- To prevent gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime.
- To ensure that gambling is conducted fairly and openly by operators
- To protect vulnerable people, including children, from exposure to gambling.
The UK Gambling Commission is responsible for all licensing applications meeting the above objectives.
How The UK Gambling Commission Regulates
- By licensing gambling businesses
- By licensing those who work in the gambling industry in specific roles
- The UK Gambling Commission sets out Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice
- The UK Gambling Commission carries out enforcement action and prosecution work if an individual of a business breaches tier licence conditions.
- By working closely with the gambling industry to raise standards
- The UK Gambling Commission provides advice to players and the public.
Why Regulation is Important
The UK Gambling Commission aim to make gambling safer. A spokesman from NewCasinoSites.me.uk stated, “vulnerable people in our society must have protection from those sites that did not responsibly operate gambling businesses. However, all gambling businesses must now sign up to GAMTOP (the self-exclusion scheme,) allowing consumers to exclude themselves from all online gambling for some time has helped raise the standard of UK online casinos”.
How to Find a Responsible Online Casino
Before you decide to transfer any money into an online casino account, there are some things you should check.
- The online casino should hold a British Gambling Commission licence displayed on the website. The license number should be clickable and links you to the UK Gambling Commission public register. Make sure that the details of the licence match the public register
- You should be aware of restrictions on bonuses or promotional offers like a minimum spend level (before you can withdraw winnings.)
- You should be able to find the online casinos’ addresses, all trading names, current licence status and website domain names easily.
- Each game has its terms and conditions. These will help you understand what you are betting on before making an informed choice.
How The Gambling Commission Can Enforce its’ Regulations
On the 3rd August 2022, the Gambling Commission fined LeoVegas £1.2m after finding the operator guilty of anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures in the UK.
LeoVegas is also subject to an audit and handed an official warning to ensure that it is administering social responsibility and anti-money laundering protocols.
LeoVegas failed on several points to meet the UK Gambling Commissions Regulations.
- The operator set six hours as the point at which customers were made to take a 45-minute cool-off period without explaining how playing for six hours was the point at which harm may occur.
- Leo Vegas relies too heavily on ineffective threshold triggers and inadequate information regarding how much a customer should be allowed to spend (based on income, wealth or any other risk factor.)
- The inappropriate controls allowed significant amounts of spending to take place within a short time without LeoVegas knowing anything about their customer’s financial situations.
- The financial triggers for anti-money laundering reviews were set too high to effectively manage money laundering (or terrorist financing risks.)
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Week 31/2022 slot games releases
BGaming announces a competition for streamers with a $15 000 prize pool
Online Casino Regulation
Incentive Games Launched Multiple Free-to-Play Games with bet365
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