9 March, 2022

Social Responsibility of the year

The betterment of society is not a job to be left to a few. It’s a responsibility to be shared by all.

Coming out of Covid, responsible gambling have been the words on everybody’s lips. With regulators tightening restrictions and critics expressing their opinions with more volume than ever before, now is the time for companies to double down on their contributions to society. These past 18 months have been challenging for everyone, especially those among us who have been hit the hardest by Covid. While this period has shone a spotlight on our divisions, it has also demonstrated how crucial it is that we band together in tough times. We must look to each other for support, and many companies in the industry have wholeheartedly embraced this ethos.

Up first is BBIN, a leading iGaming software supplier which has, since 2018, been paying close attention to global social welfare issues through its charity brand, The Gaming Beat Charity (TGB Charity). In 2021, TGB Charity launched its grand campaign, Love For All Kinds; a charitable fundraising platform for NGOs that care about endangered animals, wildlife and biodiversity. TGB Charity collaborates with six animal charities that focus on the conservation of diverse animals and natural habitats, and holds a variety of fundraising events and activities. 

Our next nominee is an ardent proponent of responsible gaming and boasts a strong culture of commitment when it comes to social responsibility. Kindred Group claimed victory in this category at last year’s Awards and in 2021, the company continued to work towards its “0% revenue derived from harmful gambling” goal. Kindred had a busy year, publishing two new research papers, as well as holding the 6th edition of the Sustainable Gambling Conference. Additionally, Kindred brought improvements to its responsible gaming toolbox and to its detection system, and partnered up with Zafty to deliver the BettorTime mobile app.

Hailing from Sweden, Betsson Group believes that by pulling together towards a common goal, great results can be achieved. In Malta, the company supported frontline workers with masks and visors, as well as free accommodation in its company apartments. In Hungary, it donated five patient monitors to a hospital, while in its homeland, Betsson donated lunches to hospital nurses. In Estonia, it ran a campaign to support the badly hit island of Saaremaa, bringing together 112 volunteers who collectively dedicated 6,465 hours of help over 76 days.

Moving westward, we have Entain, which in 2021 launched what it describes as a “pioneering” affordability checking model for British customers as part of the Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) initiative. The ARC affordability framework uses open source and commercially available data on customers, combined with behavioural indicators. Entain data scientists have built models to demonstrate varying levels of potential financial risk, to help flag potential harm.

With cutting-edge capabilities, our next nominee has used its innovative solutions to support problem gambling initiatives. Mindway AI works with operators, platform providers, regulators and governments to supply state-of-the-art early detection and intervention solutions for safer gambling. It offers solutions which detect at-risk, and problem gambling early and accurately, based on research, neuroscience and artificial intelligence and essentially provides a 360° view of every single gambler trajectory.

But it’s also important to consider more local efforts and for that reason, we have nominated the Hippodrome Casino. No other casino in the UK does more for its local community than the Hippodrome in London. CEO Simon Thomas has become firmly established as a spokesman for the West End on local and national government issues that affect business health and innovation. The Hippodrome opened its doors to numerous community groups offering free meeting space and facilities; it supported the Chinese community in housing its local community centre and offered substantial cash support to ensure the success of Chinese New Year; and it spearheaded campaigns to confront the issues of homelessness, begging and rough sleeping.

Our industry has made significant strides in recent years and companies like Coolbet are turning those advancements toward problem gambling. With a scientific and analytical approach to responsible gambling, Coolbet is doing more than compliance. Coolbet has many different RG tools, a highly trained customer support department, not only to detect potential gambling issues, but also on techniques like brief intervention, motivational interviewing, suicide prevention and more.

Then there’s Microgaming which invests in the community via PlayItForward, a campaign that focuses on people, place and planet. The initiative is driven by Microgaming’s people. The company broadened its scope to reach 78 causes across the Isle of Man, UK, Malta and Gibraltar in 2021, supporting Covid-19, ecology and safer gambling-related projects, among others. To mark 20 years since moving to the Isle of Man, Microgaming assisted 20 additional charities and went on a tree-planting spree.

Next up is LeoVegas, which in November 2021,introduced new instant, individual deposit limits for all UK players as it reiterated its commitment to promote safer gambling. Deposit limits are assigned on a customer-by-customer basis via a tool that uses third-party data to assess affordability. Combined with AI-backed on-site messaging prompting players to gamble more responsibly, LeoVegas is looking to develop more sustainable customer relationships.

Last but certainly not least is Casino Guru. As an affiliate, Casino Guru has leveraged its relationships to cultivate a safer environment for players by encouraging casinos to be better in regard to fairness. It has used its platform to focus on reputation and reliability in honest reviews, as well as helping mistreated players. Recently, Casino Guruhas also started to take a broader view a bigger role via its Global Self-Exclusion Initiative and Casino Guru Academy, which aim to create better RG tools for players and educate casino employees on responsible gambling.

Altogether, it’s been a great year for social responsibility, and that’s in spite of the once-in-a-lifetime challenges facing us all. We would like to congratulate every company this year that has given something back to society and, while it was hard to whittle our list down to 10 nominees, we feel those organisations that have been nominated went above and beyond in 2021. From problem gambling and homelessness to climate change and Covid, our nominees this year have sought to tackle a diverse array of issues, and their outstanding efforts have made it very hard to select a winner. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Global Gaming Awards in London on 11 April 2022, to find out how the judges voted.

The Social Responsibility of the year Award is sponsored by Trust Payments.

Trust Payments, the disruptive leader in fintech specialising in frictionless payments and value-added services for SMEs. We provide on-demand Payments and Banking-as-a-Service services to help businesses grow and scale online, in-store, and on mobile. Trust Payments combines these services with powerful tools, such as loyalty management and instant eCommerce, engaging new innovative payments methods in crypto and bank transfers to drive Converged Commerce™.