This week is an important week in the iGaming calendar. It is Responsible Gambling week, during which the whole industry makes a huge push to promote responsible gambling practices and to remind players that when the fun stops, stop.
As a software supplier to the sector, other than to ensure we provide RG tools for our operators and keep them compliant, technically we don’t need to do as much as the operators themselves for their customers, right? Absolutely wrong.
At Bede, we are acutely aware of the huge responsibility, influence and control we have over protecting gamblers and are absolutely committed to working with our clients to find better ways of keeping our customer’s customers safe.
This year, we announced our new vision to become the “Safest Place to Play”. This was a strategic and passionate decision that has been embraced by all Bede staff. We know that we are not fully there yet but are fully committed to the cause. We set ourselves extremely high standards and understand that despite having some of the strongest RG tools in the market, there is still a lot more that can be done and that we can do both internally and externally to promote, invent and support better responsible gambling practices.
RG Week is, in its essence, about reaching out to players and making them aware of the risks but in house, at Bede, we also recognise the need to look after our staff and engage them with RG as much as possible.
It has taken a few years to come to this realisation. Since our inception six and half years ago, our main focus for staff has always been to look after our people and to give them a great environment within which to work. Generally this has been healthy snacks, free lunches, the latest coffee machine and Friday beers – but as the company has grown and we’ve matured, it became very apparent that it wasn’t just about the freebies and little extras. We also have a duty of care to our staff in terms of both mental and physical health.
Our staff is in the highest risk category for problem gamblers. Not only because of their demographic (males aged 18 – 35, which make up 74% of our workforce) but also because they work in the industry and with so much exposure to gambling practices it can normalise the gambling experience, making it harder to spot problem behaviour. Statistically, someone in our team will have a gambling problem (3-5 gamblers out of every 100 will struggle with some sort of problem gambling or risky behaviour; we employ over 170 people). Staff may not realise that they too are vulnerable. So this year, Bede is getting into action, kick starting our own internal campaign and dealing with it head on.
In line with Bede’s vision of becoming ‘The Safest Place to Play’, we want to engage everyone from QA to finance with active thinking on how we can build the best tools to help players stay safe online. And we aren’t only passionate about the players, we are also passionate about the well being of our staff, so we’re starting the conversation about how to make Bede the safest place to work.
Across the week, our dedicated RG team will be posting all sorts of messages about responsible gambling; educating and raising awareness amongst our staff to not only be mindful of their risk but to also put RG front of mind when creating our amazing business too. We are running a couple of internal competitions to increase engagement, will be making a few announcements and have a brilliant young man coming in to talk about his first hand experience with problem gambling.
These are the beginning steps on this very important journey for Bede, with many more to come. In the same way we transform our clients’ online offerings, we are looking to transform the way the industry is perceived, to put the player first and to ensure that gambling is fun and safe for everyone. Watch this space.
We’re here to help. Let’s talk about Responsible Gambling.