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Episode two of The Gambling Harm Podcast now live

The second episode of EPIC Risk Management’s new production, The Gambling Harm Podcast, is now live across all leading audio and video podcast streaming platforms, with an edition focusing on the work being undertaken by the company to deliver positive change within the gambling industry.

The company’s director of safer gambling, Dan Spencer, and head of safer gambling, Dave Sproson, both feature to share how their lived experience of gambling-related harm now shapes the programmes they help to deliver within the industry.

In a wide-reaching episode, their pair cover their personal experiences of gambling harm, how technology is changing the gambling industry in terms of spotting patterns of harmful behaviour, why those using loot boxes are not offered the same protections as those using gambling operators, the emergence of gambling in the US, the need for more collaboration between regulators and operators and more.

Looking at how the gambling industry has been able to make positive changes for player safety in recent times – and forecasting what more can be done to go further, Spencer contemplates improvements he has seen first-hand, explaining:

“When you look at where the industry is today, it’s a very different landscape than it was five to 10 years ago. I think the predominant difference that you will see today is the level of technology that they have in identifying those that are at risk.

“We’re partnered with a Danish company, Mindway AI; we have a strategic partnership because there are so many clients that we both have. They use 28 markers in their algorithm of ways that harm can be measured and all of them together create a profile of the customer.

“Now, if a customer deviates from their standard patterns of gambling, it can’t happen without anybody knowing about it. That wasn’t in place when I was gambling.

“I like to think that where we’re going – and where certainly a lot of the large operators are – is that they have well-placed, well-trained experts that would reach out in that instance and initiate a fruitful conversation that enables someone like me to reflect on my gambling.”

Sproson calls upon his own negative experience with loot boxes to highlight why he still believes that more needs to be done to regulate their use, over and beyond recent proposals to limit their access for children and offer better education to parents and guardians about what they entail.

“In the UK currently, loot boxes are still considered not a form of gambling,” he explains, during the podcast. “Make no mistake, it is gambling. It’s the act of placing money to get a desired outcome, of which you’re not guaranteed to get.

“The only loophole that it goes through is the fact that with a loot box, you always get something out of them, whereas with a gamble, with a casino, it’s win or lose, so it’s not quite the same.

“If you are playing on a slot game and you put 20 quid in per spin and you win 15p off your win, you’ve still won by definition, but you’ve still lost because you’re down. Loot boxes are the exact same. You might want that legendary or that mythical item, that’s the best one that you can get, but the chances are you’re going to get the low end of that item. And so, really, there’s not a difference when you look at the two products.”

Entitled ‘Positive Change’, this is the second episode of a new series that sees a new edition released every week throughout August to create a five-part series.

The podcast is available in audio or video format across multiple mainstream platforms, namely:

• Soundcloud

• Spotify

• Apple Podcasts

• YouTube (video format)

Episode three, set to be released next week, focuses on casino betting and how it can draw in a different audience to sports wagering, including the different triggers and patterns of play that can often be seen by those experiencing problem gambling.

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