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Joint CEO Letter: Driving Sustainability Through A Focus On Safer Gambling

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Joint CEO Letter: Driving Sustainability Through A Focus On Safer Gambling
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In a joint letter, the CEOs* of bet365, Betsson, Entain Group, Flutter Entertainment, Kindred Group, and William Hill International have united to outline their collective ambition to foster a more sustainable online gambling sector in Europe. The letter features in EGBA’s recently published annual Sustainability Report 2021/22.

Over the past year, we have seen the gaming and betting sector’s commitment to protecting its customers come under close scrutiny from politicians and regulators across Europe. Now, more than ever, the entire sector must come together and redouble its efforts to promote safe and sustainable gambling.

Be it having a bet on the World Cup, or playing a game of poker, gambling is still one of Europe’s most popular forms of entertainment and it is enjoyed safely by many millions of adults across Europe. But we know that for some, it can lead to harm to them and their immediate social circle.

As Europe’s leading online gaming and betting companies, it is entirely in our interest to have long-term customers who enjoy a bet, do so within their means, and consider gambling for what it is – a great form of entertainment. We therefore take our responsibilities to protect our customers very seriously.

Our teams are constantly working to provide our customers with a safe and sustainable experience through the promotion of safety tools, messaging, and information to help consumers be protected and well informed about the risks of gambling.

This not only helps us to build trust with our customers as responsible and trustworthy businesses, but also with other important stakeholders in society. It is the right thing to do by our customers and the commercially sound thing to do. Safe and sustainable gambling is good for all.

Investing in a strong culture of safer gambling

We are investing heavily in the latest tools and technologies to provide our customers with the safest and most personalised experience possible. It is therefore positive and encouraging that half of our European customers – nearly 15 million of them – are now using the safer gambling tools we provide.

A fundamental part of our efforts is the use of behavioural science to help identify and intervene with customers where there are markers of harm. We are doing more to educate our customers about these behaviours and signpost the appropriate self-help tools available to them, such as helplines.

In fact, we are now communicating more than ever to our customers about safer gambling – and in an increasingly personalised way. Last year, we collectively sent 38 million communications to our customers to promote safer play, with 60% of these communications being tailored to the customer based on their own individual playing behaviour.

Through these preventative actions we aim to promote a strong culture of safer gambling across the entirety of our businesses. To embed this culture even further, we have stepped up internal trainings for employees – 80% of our 57,000 employees in Europe have now received dedicated safer gambling training – and many of our companies now link corporate remuneration to this objective.

Working towards a better understanding of problem gambling

It is a learning curve, and we strive to learn from past mistakes, implement changes when needed, and improve our efforts to protect our customers, including by contributing to improvements in research and greater understandings of problem gambling.

For example, earlier this year the EGBA published a study on how European countries monitor and report problem gambling. The study highlights the clear diversity in national approaches. It showed that many European countries still lack national surveys and there is a need to move towards a more common approach, based on evidence, best practices and markers of harm.

Going a step further to promote responsible advertising

Working towards sustainability also means taking public concern about the volume and placement of advertising seriously. Ahead of the upcoming World Cup, we took stock of our obligations as responsible advertisers, publishing the results of the first independent monitoring exercise of EGBA’s responsible advertising code, which we apply across our European operations.

The exercise found the code to be a strong baseline for responsible advertising practices and EGBA members[1] already correctly apply most of its measures, particularly on content moderation. It also identified ways to improve the code and we are now considering these.

We want to raise the bar and set a positive example for the rest of the sector – because we cannot drive change alone. We invite Europe’s other licensed operators to join us in our sustainability agenda.

At the same time, we also need regulatory frameworks that are predictable, stable, evidence based, and mindful of customer behaviour. These frameworks should benefit customers and ensure they remain within the regulated market – because this is where they are best protected against unaccountable black-market operators who offer none of the protections of the regulated industry. So that customers always receive the best protection, regulation should be designed in a way that ensures the regulated market is always more attractive to them than the black market.

Our collective ambition is to set a course towards a more sustainable online gambling sector through a focus on safer gambling and a commitment to taking meaningful action. Through this report we aim to lead by example and be transparent about our efforts and, by doing so, demonstrate that we are committed to providing sustainable entertainment for many more years to come.

 

Source: EGBA

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Rightlander Limited Appoints Sarafina Wolde Gabriel As Chief Strategy Officer

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Rightlander Limited appoints seasoned digital marketing leader Sarafina Wolde Gabriel as Chief Strategy Officer, marking a new era of strategic expansion and innovation for the global compliance and risk management solutions provider.

Rightlander, the advertising and affiliate compliance monitoring specialist, is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarafina Wolde Gabriel as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO).

In her new role, Wolde Gabriel will work closely with the company’s founder, Ian Sims, and the broader management team to craft and implement business strategies intended to accelerate the company’s growth on a global scale.

“Sarafina brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success in strategic planning and business development,” said Ian Sims. “We are confident that her innovative thinking and strategic approach will be instrumental as we continue to grow our business and enter new markets.”

Wolde Gabriel’s remit will include expanding Rightlander’s reach into new markets and verticals, evaluating potential new product opportunities, and building strategic partnerships to boost business growth. This strategic vision aligns with the company’s objective to strengthen its market position and meet the increasingly complex needs of clients around the world.

Speaking on her appointment, she said, “I am thrilled to join Rightlander Limited and am committed to contributing to the company’s forward-looking approach. I look forward to working with Ian and the entire team to explore new opportunities and create innovative strategies that will drive global growth.”

A seasoned professional in digital marketing with over 19 years of experience, Wolde Gabriel brings to Rightlander a wealth of knowledge in leadership within the iGaming and marketing sectors.

Beginning her impressive career journey with Paysafe’s Income Access in 2004, she made significant strides, eventually serving as the company’s CMO until 2016. Her tenure with Paysafe was decorated with numerous industry awards, underscoring her expertise in driving growth and success in the digital marketing space.

In her most recent role as the VP of Strategy at Income Access, she directed innovative marketing strategies and established key business partnerships, contributing to the company’s global expansion. In 2022, Wolde Gabriel made a strategic shift, joining GeoComply, a geolocation and fraud prevention company, as a senior director, where she continued to excel in new business development and global expansion.

Wolde Gabriel holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Surrey, UK, and a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Marketing from Concordia University, Montreal. An active contributor to her community, she served as the President of the African Students Association during her time at Concordia University.

The addition of Wolde Gabriel to Rightlander Limited’s leadership team reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to strengthening its strategic direction and accelerating its growth trajectory.

For more information on Rightlander Limited and its comprehensive range of services, visit www.rightlander.com.

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Latest News

New challenger approaching: Introducing Slotsoo Casino Awards

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The iGaming industry’s awards season is in full swing. Today (1st June 2023), Slotsoo is jumping on the train by launching Slotsoo Casino Awards. With this new venture, the casino comparison site wants to celebrate excellence among casino operators in a fun way, with the goal to inspire the casino industry to do better.

Fun Categories that are Relevant to Players

The Slotsoo Casino Awards consist of seven different trophies with humorous names such as The Bonus Buff and The Withdrawal Wizard. The team has made an intentional decision to keep the number low and the categories focused on the player experience.

Markus Björk, Slotsoo’s head writer and team leader, explains:

”Slotsoo wants to be the perfect mix of serious and fun – we are allergic to boring. When deciding on the different categories we made sure they resonate to players and not just media or higher-ups. We also wanted to avoid having too many trophies, because then they would lose their point. If everyone is a winner, then nobody is a winner.”

He continues to tell that every team member likes to play slots too, so they know what the average player values and what they don’t.

The Winners for Slotsoo Awards 2023

·         The Gambling GOAT – Svenbet Casino

·         The Bonus Buff – Slot Paradise

·         The Loyalty Lord – Qbet Casino

·         The Withdrawal Wizard – iBet Casino

·         The Gamification Guru – Happy Hugo

·         The Payout Professor – Snatch Casino

·         The Noisy Newcomer – Monsino

Please visit Slotsoo Casino Awards for descriptions of the trophies and detailed winner motivations.

All casinos listed on Slotsoo are automatically nominated. Instead of using an external jury to select the winners, the decision is done by the team itself – meaning the same people that actually test and review every site.

Big Plans for Expansion

The dust has barely settled from the launch of the new awards, but the Slotsoo team already have big aspirations how to expand the concept. Markus Björk shares their plans for the future:

”We want to do similar awards on our other language versions. Simultaneously, we are looking to introduce separate awards for game providers. After all, they are the backbone of the casinos, and they deserve just as much celebration.”

Who is Slotsoo?

Slotsoo is a multilingual comparison site for online casinos and slots run by a tight-knit group of slot enthusiasts. The website was launched in 2017 and offers expert reviews of casinos, slots and game providers – plus guides for different payment methods and license authorities.

The English version targets the European market as a whole, while the other languages are focusing on specific countries. Slotsoo is committed to only promote legal and licensed casinos that respect EU laws. Want to know more? Check out the page about Slotsoo or contact the team at [email protected]

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Compliance Updates

The Slovak Gambling Authority’s systematic check activities help reduce the number of illegal gaming devices

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In Q1 2023, the Slovak Gambling Authority conducted 2511 compliance checks, which is 201 more compared to last year.

The significant year-on-year increase in the number of checks is due to the restructuring of surveillance and the strategic set-up of the supervision by the Authority's top management.

"I am very pleased that the goals set up by the current management are also successfully fulfilled in the gambling supervision area. Of course, a big thank you to our local supervisors, who actively investigate illegal devices and supervise the fulfilment of all legal requirements by legal operators.
Having gambling under systematic supervision is one of the main missions of the Authority as a gambling regulator," said the Director General at the Office for the Regulation of Gambling (URHH), Dávid Lenčéš.

More than a 45 % increase against the same period last year was recorded in checks focused on the search of illegal gambling establishments. In the first quarter of 2023, supervisors conducted 437 compliance checks focusing on unlawful gambling as mining and quiz machines, intending to prevent further operation. As Director General said, “Increased systematic check activities of illegal establishments has its justification and brings results as, compared to 2022, the number of detected illegal gaming machines on the market is significantly reduced. Searching for illegal establishments and seizing illegal devices has a preventive nature and ultimately protects society, especially at-risk groups and the youth.”

According to the Gambling Act, small operators, such as pubs, can't operate gaming machines. The URHH must license each gaming machine since it is the only official body authorised to issue a license. Operating gambling without a given license is prohibited in Slovakia.

The Gambling Regulatory Authority also carries out surveillance remotely. In the Q1 of this year, we are talking about an almost 90 % increase in on-site checks compared with last year. Thanks to online access to the servers of gambling operators, this form of supervision allows more effective control of many establishments without physically leaving the workplace.

Establishing a specialised online gaming department in 2022 also contributed to the overall increase of supervision effectiveness over 2022-2023. The mission of the specialised department is to supervise licensed online gambling or searching for and restrict access to illegal websites operating or promoting gambling without valid licenses.

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