Wes Himes, RGA: How the industry can play a role in driving Safer Gambling

In recent years, there has been a conscious effort made by gambling operators to ensure that responsible gambling practices are promoted to punters. However, a topic that has arisen when considering responsible gambling is the issue of whether regulations can become overbearing.

Speaking to Wes Himes, interim Chief Executive of the Remote Gambling Association, at iGB Live in Amsterdam he explained that the best thing operators can do to prevent overbearing regulations is to take action.

He explained: “The best thing that we can do is take action. Our work programme covers a whole gambit of areas from responsible gambling to advertising, and through all of that we’re trying to pull together a work programme that shows that we as an industry are taking forward initiatives to make it a safe and entertaining environment for our customers. And as long as we are able to do that and prove that we are doing that, then I think we’ll go a long way towards avoiding regulation that might have unintended consequences.”

When pressed on whether he thought previous attempts to collaborate on responsible gambling initiatives had failed, Himes added: “I don’t think they’ve necessarily failed. Some might not have reached the end destination and may have taken some time, a lot of the time this all has to be underpinned by research to understand what your end objective is doing. But what I think we want to do now is to accelerate that collaboration – others are doing that now like the Gambling Commission do their workshops.

“But it’s up to us, of course, being the operators with the data – we are in a prime position to make that data sharing happen and to make sure that we get some good results. So, as an example, we want to share data on AMLD (Anti Money Laundering) so that we can build profiles of people who are customers who might be perpetrating money laundering offences. And that’s one area where data sharing and industry collaboration can go a long way, and as an industry, we’re on the same page.”

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