Martin Lycka – RG is a long distance run with a number of intermediate sprints

After launching a new foundation to coordinate and support the company’s ongoing CSR initiatives, objectives and donations worldwide, GVC Holdings has praised the “fundamental role” Responsible Gambling Week plays on an industry-wide basis.

Launch of the GVC Foundation US, which sees a collaboration entered to aid military veterans with gambling addictions, the efforts have drawn praise from many quarters, including the National Council on Problem Gambling.

As RG Week gets underway today, with the public face of the year-round cross-industry initiative to promote safer gambling in the United Kingdom and Ireland taking place until Wednesday 13, 2019, Martin Lycka, GVC’s director of regulatory affairs, has praised the initiative in emphasising the need to maintain the conversation year-round.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, RGW presents us as well as the rest of the industry with an opportunity to show where the proverbial RG dial has moved on to during the year as well as to outline where it could be going beyond that,” he says. 

“Nonetheless, RG is a long distance run, with a number of intermediate sprints, meaning it indeed requires an all year long focus from all parts of our business.”

Adding on the need to ensure an ever increasing level cross-industry collaboration is tackling problem gambling: “[It’s] crucial; cross-industry collaboration creates synergies and efficiencies, in particular in relation to research and investment, that make the existing RG tools even more efficient and allow for creation of new, even more innovative, ones. 

“In addition, pulling together helps steer the theoretical debate surrounding RG issues in the right direction.”

“Responsible Gambling Week plays a fundamental role in GVC’s, as well as the wider industry’s, efforts to raise further awareness”

Making waves with a number of its own CSR programmes in recent weeks, Lycka moved on to address GVC’s own manoeuvres within the space: “GVC has indeed recently launched its global as well as US foundations, the remit of which amongst other things extends to education in the responsible gambling space.

“Responsible Gambling Week plays a fundamental role in GVC’s, as well as the wider industry’s, efforts to raise further awareness of the tools and processes we have and will have put in place to promote safer gambling. 

“Over the course of 2019 we have inter alia announced our five year research partnership with the Division on Addiction of the Harvard Medical School as well as our collaboration with Epic Risk Management. The Epic team have relentlessly toured the country with their state of the art RG educational programme. 

“GVC and the Harvard Division on Addiction will host a Betting Symposium on November 12 to talk about our collaborative, in particular about how data can be used to further enhance the levels of protection of gambling customers by means of academic research and its subsequent implementation in practice.” 

Concluding, Lycka went on to address approaching a situation where an identified problem gambler does not want to accept it: “This depends on the individual circumstances of the gambler. A number of recent industry initiatives seek to personalise approach to safer gambling issue in a bid to further increase the efficiency of addiction prevention measures, for example by means of gamification of gambling addiction tests or by a more sophisticated use of customer data, such as the one that underlies our ‘Markers of Harm’ programme.”

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