Panel: ‘Gambling missing closer relationship between companies and problems caused’

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Panel:  'Gambling missing closer relationship between companies and problems caused'

By Iqbal Johal

Companies and individuals taking greater responsibility for problem gambling will improve player protection, according to a panel.

Speaking at last week’s SBC Digital Summit, All-Parliamentary Party Group Gambling Harms chair, Carolyn Harris MP, said the apparent exploitation of players is unacceptable.

Harris said: «I am on a bit of a mission, to actually stop the exploitation of gamblers who have an excessive and addictive problem with online gambling.

«I firmly believe there’s a place in society for sensible gambling but what I will not tolerate, is when people are badly damaged, exploited to the point in some cases where they take their own lives because of their involvement with online gambling.»

Catena Media and Great.com founder Erik Bergman revealed how previous bad practices, including realising an opportunity to sell payday loans to casino players, has led to him to place greater emphasis on responsible gambling.

Bergman said: «Gambling is not an innate bad thing, but how we can do it in a more responsible way is how I’m spending most of my time now.

«For me, what’s missing in the gambling industry is a closer relationship between the actual companies and the problems they’re causing, thinking about my own personal experiences.

«I would love to see a situation where we invite and listen to the various stories as it will make us more human.»

Tom Galanis, TAG Media managing director, added he’s taken it upon himself in recent months to engage with those who have gambling problems.

Galanis said: «I agree individually we need to take responsibility.

«I thought it was vital to engage in those conversations to better understand some of the potential harm that some of my activities have no doubt caused to people.»

You can read the full Gambling in Society discussion in May’s Trafficology when it is published.

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