GambleAware has launched a brand new gambling support service in Scotland.
The gambling charity announced the new service this week, revealing that it had partnered with Citizens Advice Scotland to launch the service which is aimed at providing debt advisors with a better understanding of gambling harm and how they can prevent and reduce it.
The Gambling Support Service will provide training to staff to equip them with the required tools to identify people who are experiencing gambling-related harm and support them. Workers will also be trained on how to direct those at risk to specialists for help.
According to GambleAware, the new support service will be based around four Scottish regional hubs including Inverness, West Lothian, South West Aberdeenshire, and Airdrie.
As reported by SBC News, the hubs around Scotland will allow staff part of the new service to deliver the required training to workers in professions who come across people suffering from gambling-related harm across the country. This includes local authority staff, healthcare workers, youth practitioners, and more.
GambleAware and the Citizens Advice Scotland’s Gambling Support Service will run from now to 2022 and will run alongside similar programmes GambleAware launched with both Citizens Advice England and Wales.
According to iGamingBusiness, the initial project was formed back in September 2018 between GambleAware and Citizens Advice and the two organisations raise £1.5 million in funds to deliver training to frontline workers.
Like with the new Gambling Support Service in Scotland, the initial project was based around several regional hubs to help staff in both England and Wales.
The news comes as the rules and regulations within continue to tighten as both the UK Gambling Commission and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) work on raising standards within the industry to better protect players. The changes have seen numerous fines, license suspensions, and license revocations for many gambling operators who fail to keep in-line with policies and regulations.
Many organisations and gambling operators are working on improving safety within the industry, and big-name operator GVC Holdings is one of them. This week, the gambling company announced that it would be making several changes to its operators and revealed a new name change.
According to CasinoBeats, GVC Holdings will be changing its name to Entain Plc as part of a new identity which has been designed to reflect the company’s ambition to become a leader in the sports betting and gaming industry. However, the name change and redesigned identity are still subject to a shareholder vote, which means it hasn’t been confirmed yet.
In addition to the company redesign, GVC Holdings has confirmed a new commitment to safety as well as a dedication to regulated markets. As a result, the firm has stated that it is withdrawing from all unregulated markets and will work on its responsible gambling practices, working towards having the highest standards of corporate governance, and investing in staff, customers, and local communities.
Shay Segev, the CEO at GVC Holdings, said in a statement: “Today marks an exciting new chapter for the group, and an important step forward in achieving our ambition of being the world leader in sports betting and gaming.
“Under our new corporate identity, we will continue to use our unique technology platform to build on the exceptionally strong momentum that we have in our existing markets, grow into new markets, reach new audiences, enhance the customer experience, and provide industry-leading levels of player protection.”
He added: “We are absolutely committed to pursuing the highest standards of corporate governance, to providing outstanding career development opportunities for our colleagues, and to supporting the communities in which we operate. Our clear strategy of prioritising sustainability and growth will allow us to achieve these goals, thereby providing long-term value for all of our stakeholders.”
All of this news comes as a new report from the UK Gambling Commission reveals that the online gambling market experienced an increase in activity and revenue between March and September 2020, highlighting just how important safety and regulations are within the industry.
According to the UK Gambling Commission’s report which covers both offline and online gambling, there was an increase of 3% in gross gambling yield month-on-month in September and a 7% increase in active accounts which is thought to be caused by the return of the Premier League. The average sessions for slots remained at around 21 minutes and the number of users playing for more than an hour dipped by 3%.
As reported by Intergameonline.com, bookmakers experienced an 11% increase in gross gambling yield and a 7% increase in the number of bets placed spurred by the reopening of betting shops after the UK’s initial lockdown.
With England undergoing a second full lockdown and parts of Scotland under tight COVID-19 restrictions, the UK Gambling Commission has written to operators urging them to employ the highest standards to keep players protected and safe while at home and under restrictions.
The Commission has also called on all online gambling operators to follow the guidance they issued in May setting out new rules and regulations operators must follow during lockdown. The guidance requires operators to conduct additional affordability checks, prevent reverse withdrawals, and restrict all casino promotions and offers.
Meanwhile, the Commission has been working on imposing tighter restrictions on all gambling operators. This year, it banned credit cards from being used for both online and offline gambling, and it’s worked with the Betting and Gaming Council to implement new restrictions on the design and play of video slots. It also recently announced its support for the upcoming Safer Gambling Week campaign.