Our Changing for the Bettor strategy in action
There are seven pillars to the strategy, each of which have detailed initiatives attached. Some of these have been announced or are being announced today and the rest will follow through 2019. There is no one single bullet to solve this problem. It is a multi-faceted problem and as such, there are many parts of the jigsaw that need to be tackled.
1. Understand the scale of problem
Harvard Medical School, Division on Addiction Research Project
Fundamental to GVC’s commitment to better understand and reduce the potential for problem gambling behaviour to develop will be investment in rigorous research. That’s why in 2019 we announced that the Group is investing $5 million into a new partnership with Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addiction over the a five year period. GVC will provide Harvard faculty at the Division with access to anonymised player data across a range of its brands, sports betting, and gaming products.
The research will be broad ranging, focusing on a number of areas including, but not limited to:
- Patterns of normal internet gambling behaviour
- Behavioural markers of gambling problems among internet players generally and on specific betting and game types
- Cross-product analyses
- Cross-brand analyses
- The effects of the expansion of gambling in new markets
Within this approach, researchers will seek to evaluate the effectiveness of algorithms used by GVC and other operators to detect at-risk behaviours, assess the effectiveness of intervention messaging and the impact of operator’s safer gambling tools.
US NCPG Prevalence Study
In 2018, GVC joined the US US National Council on Problem Gambling’s President’s Circle (NCPG) and committed to funding a major study into the prevalence of gambling in the US and potential problems associated with it. ‘The National Survey of Gambling in America’, will seek to identify the prevalence of gambling within the US and establish a baseline for the levels of problem gambling behaviour. Through the research it is hoped that all stakeholders will be able to gain a better understanding of the issue.
2. Educate our key stakeholders
GamCare – The Big Deal Youth Outreach Programme
At a cost of £500,000 for 2019/2020, the partnership enables GamCare to roll their education and prevention programme out nationwide.
The project focuses on raising awareness among young people and professionals working with young people about the problems associated with gambling and the markers of harm.
The pilot project delivered programmes to 2,500 young people, with an independent evaluation assessing 91% of those being able to spot the signs and symptoms of problem gambling by the end of the sessions.
GamCare also trained 750 professionals with a 77% increase in professionals recognising risks associated with gambling. In total the partnership will enable GamCare to deliver workshops to 8000 young people and train 8000 professionals.
EPIC Risk Management
GVC has contracted the services of EPIC Risk Management, the leading independent gambling harm minimisation consultancy in the UK. EPIC will help GVC deliver training and education programmes across three key areas:
- Strategic advice on GVC’s safer gambling strategy, with a focus on identifying the best approach when interacting with customers who show signs of problem gambling.
- Delivery of responsible gambling workshops across the highest risk populations including selected charitable partners in the field of problem gambling support.
- Delivery of the world’s largest face-to-face gambling awareness and education programme for school children with the aim of enabling them to make more informed decisions around gambling upon reaching the age of 18. The programme will be independently evaluated by a leading UK University.
3. Promote responsible attitudes
Television advertising ban
GVC was the first operator to openly call for a gambling advertising ban around live sports, before 9pm in the UK. We are delighted that the industry has voluntarily agreed to implement this, from the start of the next football season.
Safer gambling sponsorship deals
Building on our safer gambling sponsorship deal with the SPFL, we will make this a non-negotiable element of all future sponsorship deals. In Scotland, with the SPFL we have safer gambling adverts in all match programmes, as well as on the LED boards around the stadiums and messaging on the players’ shirt sleeves. This will be a blueprint for all future deals.
German Football Association (DFB)
GVC will work with the German Football Association (DFB) – the biggest national sports association in the world. As part of this sponsorship we will put responsible gambling and CSR at the heart of our co-operation.
4. Empower customers
Markers of harm – We will be rolling out markers of harm across our UK facing businesses – to spot problematic play among customers. We will then provide effective and tailored interactions with those most at risk.
Self exclusion across brand – We will enable customers to self exclude across brands in the UK and suppress marketing to those who have chosen to self-exclude
Trials – We will also be trialling other player protection methods including curfew buttons online and increased awareness of customers’ activity online.
5. Fund treatment for those in need
We will double our commitment to research, education and treatment from 0.1% to 0.2% of gross gaming revenue. This is the largest contribution among the sector and we hope other operators will follow our lead.
6. Champion responsible product design
We will work with leading experts to design a code of conduct for product design, both within our business and for external suppliers.
7. Drive change within our business.
– Refreshed mandatory training for all colleagues, including VIP and customer service teams.
– Partnership with Epic Risk Management to more effectively communicate with at-risk customers.
– Safer gambling on-boarding for all customers, including RG emails to all new customers when they sign-up
– Collaborate with other like-minded operators