GamCare Proposes Safer Gambling Standard at ICE 2019
GamCare, the British watchdog group for the gaming industry, is proposing a package of new UK regulations called the “Safer Gambling Standard”. The Safer Gambling Standard goes beyond the Codes of Practice and has 12 policies, but I’m not sure how the two differ. GamCare plans to reveal the new standard at the ICE Gaming Convention, which takes place in early February in London every year.
GamCare’s project is comprised of 12 sets of principles which focus on social responsibility. The standards would cover all land-based and online business-to-customer (B2C) operations.
Mike Kenward, the Director of Development for GamCare, spoke about the proposed regulations and how they differs from systems the United Kingdom has had in the past.
Speaking before the annual ICE Totally Gaming convention, Kenward said, “For responsible gambling measures to be effective, it is essential that they are integrated into organizational culture and flow throughout the organization. Our new standard focuses on the totality of an operation, from board members and directors down to the front line.”
“The standard is a kite mark which incorporates the experience of our service users, the huge level of collected evidence and industry research across numerous fields as well as GamCare’s many years of experience working across the sector.”
What is the Safer Gambling Standard?
Safer Gambling Standard would act as a wide-reaching set of policies and would require new accreditation. GamCare developed the proposals with the goal not only of monitoring companies’ policies and procedures, but also corporate culture and governance of staff.
The new standards also would monitor digital interactions. While current policies do the same, the Safe Gambling Standard is innovative because it expands beyond the customer-facing team members. Previous monitoring systems stopped at customer service.
Mike Kenward said, “To support the new standard, we’re emphasizing the significance of delivering comprehensive gambling related training to individuals and organizations.”
2019 ICE Gaming Conference London
ICE Totally Gaming provides GamCare an opportunity to receive feedback and suggestions from industry executives and staff. Kenward added, “We’re looking forward to talking to operators about our training programs and how any money we generate via the sale of training and the Safer Gambling Standard is used to support our charity and pay back into a cause which is hugely relevant to the industry.”
The ICE Gaming Conference is an annual international gaming convention in London. Top B2C and B2B gaming operators have booths and exhibitions to display their latest products and services. The three-day event, February 5-7, will bring the most recent and up to date “gaming solutions”, content, and networking opportunities from all over the world.
Businesses make contacts while executives attend seminars, workshops, and panel discussions on the state of the gaming industry. ICE 2019 will host more than 100 guest speakers covering all aspects of the gaming world.
GamCare in Consumer Protection Zone
GamCare decided to ICE Gaming was the best place to reveal their Safer Gambling Standard. Kenward praised the conference and discussed his organization’s decision behind the unveiling, “ICE London is the heart of the industry and THE place where the conversation around consumer protection and customer welfare should be happening. We will be announcing the full rollout of our new standard in the Consumer Protection Zone where operators should be heading in order to focus on protecting their customers and sustaining their business.”
Kenward said, “If operators don’t protect their customers then their customers will go somewhere they are protected, There’s never been a better time for companies to focus on their processes and we’re hoping the industry will embrace the Safer Gambling Standard, not just because it’s the right thing to do from an ethical point of view but it’s also right from a business standpoint too.
The Gamcare spokesman added. “We will have already successfully trialed it with several operators before ICE London, but we want to do an official launch from the Consumer Protection Zone to talk people through the purpose of the standard, why they should get on board with it and what we ultimately believe it will mean to consumers.”
“ICE London is without question the right place to launch this game-changing new standard and we’re looking forward to highlighting the operators who have already seen the positive effect when we present this in February.”
The Safer Gambling Standard is a suggestion, but GamCare has a lobbying arm and public support. To install the system, it would help to have top gaming groups aligned with their proposal. It is in the interest of responsible gaming operators to get behind proactive industry regulations for the sake of public relations. The fewer regulations the UK Gambling Commission devises, the less likely gaming groups will have to deal with upheaval.