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Safer Gambling Week 2022: A word from our CEO

This week is Safer Gambling Week 2022. Whilst the focus on player protection and the reduction of harm should be 24/7, 365 days a year, this awareness week is a chance to highlight the great work by some fantastic organisations to reduce harm from occurring.

For EPIC Risk Management it will be a normal and very busy week. Lived experience is at the heart of everything we do, and if you were to take any given week from our calendar, you would see a varied mix of audiences and locations, in the highest risk sectors, ready to host members of our team who have seen exactly what gambling harm has done to their lives – and those of the people closest to them – and therefore we use that experience to help raise awareness among those who may wish to gamble, or directly influence player protection activities being undertaken by the operators themselves, to continually push for that space to be made safer.

We will be active in schools, professional sports clubs, industry headquarters, international conferences and more; all the usual places that we operate, but given the academic calendar in the UK, there seems to be a little bit more than usual on the agenda in this country to accommodate the upcoming half-term next week. Whatever the time of year, preventing gambling from harming people and organisations is the reason for our existence.

On top of that, we’re working in uncharted territory this week, with a team currently working on new partnerships and awareness opportunities in Australia.

We will be hosting a panel at the IAGR Conference in Melbourne, where we’ll have the chance to engage with a new audience and discuss how regulators can use lived experience to prevent gambling harm. We also have the honour of welcoming several of the country’s leading sports organisations to the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground to demonstrate the power of lived experience to some of the most successful competitions and governing bodies in the world. Australia have the highest losses per capita anywhere in the world and we’re eager to play our part in minimising the potential harm that could occur as a result.

We will also be speaking to some influential audiences at a number of key industry events, with staff presenting at conferences hosted by gambling operators in two major European cities on Wednesday, as well as featuring on a European Safer Gambling Week webinar, where we’ll be discussing developments in monitoring customer behaviour – something that we’re very proud to be proactively delivering alongside our partners Mindway AI to fuse real-life interactions with artificial intelligence tracking – and looking at how we can increase safety within online gambling thanks to a better understanding of data and technology.

The increased level of discussion that Safer Gambling Week is generating is welcome, and we hope that the level of discourse around this issue remains a key focus for everyone within the gambling ecosystem beyond these seven days of heightened awareness. It is not just the individual’s responsibility to prevent harm, although some personal responsibility is crucial to a successful recovery, but also operators, regulators, media, politicians and more. At EPIC we fulfil our mission to use lived experience to take the problem out of gambling every day and I am hugely thankful for the efforts of our teams at EPIC Risk Management and EPIC Restart Foundation who dedicate their working lives to this.

Paul Buck

CEO, EPIC Risk Management

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